It makes me sad how far back in my files I had to go in order to get to pictures of Rachael. Today marks six years since she died. I will never have a new picture of her again. But when I look at pictures, I don't miss her with the pain of a loss as much as it is the pain of someone I haven't seen for a while and I look forward to seeing again.

My mother's daughters

That doesn't mean there is never pain. Every once in a while, as I am about to fall asleep, I think of her and I feel like I am being crushed with water. Soon after she died, someone told me that she probably hit her head immediately and was knocked unconscious. That gave me comfort. Later, someone else told me that she was probably alive and fighting to get to the top of the water. I also feel like I am fighting to get up but I can't. I can't breathe. It terrifies me and makes my heart ache for Rachael.

I remember hearing my mom crying in the bathroom once about a month after Rachael died. I walked in to comfort her, and she was washing out Rachael's shredded clothes in the sink. These are things I was too fragile for and can't be unseen. I can, however, try to remember the beautiful things about her life. I try to do that as often as possible.

Although it seems like there was so much darkness (Sam told me not to post this), I cannot think of a time in my life when I have felt closer to God and my family. It has lead to greater understanding, love, and  peace in my life. I want to remember the lows so I can remember the highs.

Rachael stands as the biggest influence and example of good in my life. She is a beautiful daughter of God. She has changed countless numbers of lives, including those who had never met her. I look forward to the day when she will hold my children.


The Monsons said...

Thanks for posting. My heart aches for your family and those dark times. Your words are so special though, something touches my heart when you write for her, and it's not bad or sad, but hopeful. It puts heaven into perspective, and reminds me how close Heavenly Father's spirit is to each of us. You've given me a little moment of that, so thank you!~

Bryan and Ellie said...

I can't imagine what it must be like to lose a sister. I'm glad you have pictures like this one and sweet memories to hold onto.

Janelle said...

She may have even hugged your children goodbye before they came to you.

Reimstar said...

I can't help but cry. I loved your sister. She was such a great friend, and example to me too. The first time I saw you, I was so taken back because you look so much like her, I thought it was her. Maybe that's why I love you so much too. I will never forget Rachael. I know we will see her again and I hope she will remember me too.

Holly Decker said...

i love Rachel.
i will never forget when i was on my mission and my mother told me about her passing. i was shocked and devastated, and to be honest- i still am. it just doesn't seem right. and i can't come to grips with it.
i love that you shared your personal thoughts of her and how you cope with it here on the blog. it helps me to hear about your own emotions and testimony.
just this morning, as we read the scriptures for family devotional, i came across D&C 138 and read the summary of it. when i read, "The righteous dead of this day continue their labors in the world of spirits," i realized that Rachel's mission was not brought to a tragic end- in fact- she was very much involved in the Lord's work and our lives still. it made me feel so much comfort and peace knowing that she was among the righteous who are now with God, furthering the work and awaiting His coming. it WILL be great when you see her again, and your family can all be together- inseparable ever more.
anyways, just thinking of you this morning. love you.

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