One of the hardest days of my life is finally coming to an end.

We said goodbye to my dear friend Brittney Marie Hajny today. I have known her since she was in preschool. I have loved her like my own sister, and her family is my family. We spent countless hours together and made memories with each other. We spent holidays together and played together. She looked up to me as a role model and a big sister and would send me little notes on MySpace or emails saying how much she missed me. She surprised me this summer by coming back to Salina for the summer, visiting me at the mall and surprising me at my house. I only wish I would have spent more time with her this summer than I did. I completely failed as a big sister to her this year. She was hurting so bad and I could see it but I didn't do anything. I told her I loved her and I always reminded her how beautiful she was but I feel like I should have saved her from some of this pain.

I feel like the worst part now is seeing the raw, unbearable pain her mother is going through right now. She thinks her own daughter hated her. They were fighting when she died and I can't even put into words how much it breaks my heart. I have not been able to stop crying all day. I have never seen such pain in my life until today, and I feel completely helpless.

When I walked into that funeral home to say goodbye, I was shaking so hard I thought I would have a seizure. I was so scared to see her, and I knew once I did I wouldnt be able to deny the fact that she is gone. And when I saw her sweet beautiful face I completely gave in, I crumpled inside, like something had died. I felt like I lost a piece of my soul today. I feel like I was reliving all the pain I felt in August 1999 when I lost my friend Robby, only magnified 100 times. This was so much more awful and painful and unbearable to me than it was then. She was only 15. It doesn't feel right, or fair, or justified. How could four people walk away from that car without a scratch but she never had a chance? She broke her neck and her back and about every bone in her little body and they were fine. Why did God take her away from us? From her mother and her sister and her father and her grandmothers? How could He take her away from her two best friends? How selfish am I being right now asking that?

I don't know what to feel except for heartache. I was numb Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday. I went on living and breathing and laughing at silly things, trying now to think of what had just happened in my life, the loss I had just experienced. And now ... now it is like every emotion I could ever have felt is here, present and accounted for, pouring out of me like a river, never ceasing to stop.

I took for granted that precious little soul and the beautiful girl that she was. I will never get to see her smile, that toothy little grin, and her girly laugh that made me laugh too, even when I was down. I will never forget our hugs, I think that is the most important thing I will remember, because we shared this little way of saying goodbye, it was unique to just us, and it makes me want to die inside just thinking I will never have that again. I will never have that chance to tell her one more time how beautiful she was or how much I loved her. Never. Never in this lifetime and I don't want to accept that it is real.

Now that I look back at this last summer, I remember the last day I saw her, at my sister's wedding. I was so happy to see her and I just sat all night with her mom and talked about life, and I remember telling Brittney before she left that her Momma loved her, and she needed her right now, that they needed each other. Then I hugged her so hard and I told her I loved her one last time, and I remember watching them walk out that door. It will forever be burned in my heart and mind, that memory of her. It kills me to think that it was our last time spent together, but I guess I can be sure inside that it was a loving memory and not a bad one, right? It was special and meaningful and it is something I will cherish for the rest of my life.

I can't even begin to tell you all how much I feel that I have sacrificed my relationships in my life. Did I really give all that I could to each person I have loved? How do I begin to change and learn from this experience and assure I don't feel this way again? I should have been a bigger support for Brittney in her final months, when she was hurting the most. She had a difficult time and she just needed a friend to see her through it - I don't believe I did a decent job of that - in fact it was laughable really.

Please hug someone you love tonight as if it were the last night you would ever see them. Please tell them you love them and cherish your friendship. Do it for me. And then, if you could, say a prayer, for her family (especially her mother), and for all of those she touched in her short but wonderful life her on this Earth.

Lastly I want you to know that she was saved, and I know she is rejoicing with the Lord right now, and she is so much happier than she could have ever been here. I know that with certainty and have faith that I too will be with her someday. Life on the Earth is too short by any standard, we never know how many days we will get and tomorrow is never promised. So think about your last day on Earth and think about where you want to spend eternity, It is something we should all ask and whatever we believe I pray that you find that answer before it is too late.

And thank you to anyone who read through all of this, I know it is long but it needed to come out. So thanks... :) Sarah


Rita said...

I'm not sure what to say Sarah. This post is beautiful and heartbreaking all at the same time.

Your love for your friend is very apparent. And you know what? I am SURE she knew it and you are being way too hard on yourself. I think we all feel this way at times -- especially when something so horrible happens. We feel like we didn't do enough for or with our loved one. But Sarah -- she knew you were there for her -- and that you loved her.

Life is indeed too short. You never know what each moment will bring. It is important to cherish each one we are given.

I will pray for her mom and her family. I will pray for you. And I am sending tremendously big hugs your way. I am so sorry for your loss. I know how badly it must hurt you.

God bless you!

Sharon said...

Girl, get your butt over here!!! If ever I have a good time to cry, now is it. I can't say I know how you feel, as most of my good friends are still with us, but I understand the pain and the questions and the doubt.

Trust me when I say you are a fabulous friend, and I'm confident that Brittney knew how you felt and returned those feelings.

Now, give yourself a break. Wallow in it for a while. And trust me that every day that passes will eventually make it easier.


Rita said...

Hi Sarah -- I was so glad to see you pop in at my blog this week. Hope all is well and that we'll see you blogging again soon! ((HUGS))