I know about this. At least a little. My best friend and mentor (who I lived with during my last years of highschool) died at 42 years old. She died just after my first husband left me.

Sandy just woke up one morning and said “I can’t breathe.” And died.

She left a husband, a twelve-year-old daughter, a twenty-two-year-old sister and twenty-one-year-old me.

Pulmonary embolism, the autopsy said.

I am so thankful that she was in good health long enough to help me through reporting a close family member who was abusing our little cousin at the time. Sandy drove me to our county police office and sat with me in the waiting room and took me home for the weekend. Terrifying. It was the hardest thing I had ever voluntarily done at that time.

I appreciated her no-nonsense, caring, practical self there with me.

I was thinking about that grief as I read this verse today. You know how everyone you love has a certain “feel” to their presence in your life?

When God 🙏 released the Holy Spirit to earth 🌎 at Pentecost and they had the tongues of fire and rushing wind and stuff: were they like, “Shalom. Oh, it’s You, Jesus. We’ve missed you. Hello again” ?

Reunited and it feels so good?

I wonder. Did the disciples–especially Peter, James and John, who were Jesus’ best friends, it says–recognize Jesus’ familiar, caring, supportive, honest presence as well?

Like my friend Sandy, for example: she had a certain playful, bossy, motherly, honest way to her. It’s the thing I have missed the most about her. I would recognize it again. She felt like a big sister, you know? She loved Jesus and her family and Skip-bo and coke with tons of ice in it. She made a mean green chili burrito. She was picky about how we cleaned her house. She loved layaways and blue light specials at k-mart. We stayed up late talking, all of us, a lot.

Grief–hello again.

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