another great loss.

so i had this friend. his name was dj and he was the greatest guy ever. we met when we were 13 or 14 and we’ve been friends ever since. dj has been a constant in the lives of brian and i, a part of our family. we hung out every day over a span of, oh, ten years. hardly a day went by that i did not see dj or share sarcastic banter over text. dj was the real deal; easy going, thoughtful, sarcastic and loyal. he was the annoying, pest of a brother i never had. he was the best.

a couple weeks ago dj texted brian and told him that he was going to the emergency room because he had pneumonia. we were used to this, it happened a lot. dj only had one lung so it was never good when pneumonia came to visit, but it usually never got too serious. he told brian that he was going to get some meds and then go back home, no big deal. things quickly turned. brian talked to mary, dj’s mom, at 2 a.m. the next morning. i could hear her voice as i laid in bed, “umm, dj’s not going to make it. the organ donor team is on their way.” tears came instantly. brian rushed out the door to go say good-bye to one of our greatest friends. i stayed home, unsure that i could handle seeing another loved one in that state. it was impossible to wrap my brain around this. it still seems unreal that my dad died six months ago…i certainly could not fathom this happening to someone else that meant so much to me.

to make a long story short, dj fought the good fight for another two weeks or so. he was in and out of consciousness and his doctors did all that they could. but his body decided it was time and he started to shut down. i got a teary call from brian, just as i started my first day back at work. dj had died.

it makes me wonder, what is up with God’s plan? what kind of a God would allow this to happen? not only to me, but to dj’s awesome mom. mary suffered the tragic loss of her husband while she was pregnant with dj 28 years ago. she gave birth to dj, the light of her life, who was born with many health complications. and now she’s forced to bury her only child? its so unfair. it doesn’t make sense. and it never will.

but then i am reminded of God’s goodness. God gave mary, and the world, such an amazing gift…27 years with her ridiculously awesome son. he wasn’t expected to live this long, but he did. he defied the odds and lived a full life despite his body’s downfalls.

i know i’ve written this before, but through my trials this year i’ve realized that crappy things happen. there may be no good reason for it and it may not make sense, ever. but it happens. the great part is that God gives us the strength and peace to survive. and not only to survive, but to recognize little, tiny blessings along the way.

its only been four days since dj passed. i don’t think i’ve been able to wrap my head around it at all. it does not seem real. i’m still grieving my dad so its hard to even begin to think that this process has to begin for another person in my top 10. but what i can process is that dj is in heaven. he’s praising jesus like never before. he has met his dad for the very first time. they are probably laughing, joking, and talking about how awesome and strong mary is. i also know that my dad welcomed dj with open arms and a booming chuckle. dj loved my dad and i’m sure they are enjoying their reunion. i hope he’s telling dad how cute his granddaughter is.

dj, i’ll miss you always. you are truly my brother; always there for me, encouraging, loyal, and super annoying. we’ve been through so much over the many years of friendship we shared and you’ll always be a huge part of my life. you stuck by me through the toughest time in my life…i still remember staring at your face during dad’s memorial service. you are an anchor in my life. a constant friend. a gift from God.

love you, dj.


One thought on “another great loss.

  1. Oh…sweet Gretchen. wow. Words cannot express what you and your dear family and friends have been through these past few months. I am so sorry. We are lifting you in our prayers, and we are praying for strength and comfort. I love you dear friend, and I am so so sorry. Praying for a peace that passes all understanding and for God to bring beauty in all of this. I love you. ~ Amy

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