Rachel's work was authentic and inclusive. In that spirit we plan to provide a live stream of her funeral this Saturday, June 1st, at 2pm EDT. I want anyone who would gain some small amount of solace from this imperfect ritual in the face of massive loss to have a chance to do so.
You can find the live stream here: https://rachelheldevans.com/funeral
I haven’t yet planned much past this weekend. I’m not sure where life will take us from here. There have been press inquiries and tweets and posts and articles. But none of it changes the fact that Rachel is dead. This gaping raw wound in my life isn’t something I can fix. Sometimes things just hurt and there’s no avoiding it. Any attempt to do so, to move on too quickly, to outsmart it, to cover up the pain, will backfire. It will have to ease on its own with the passage of time.
This month of May 2019 has been a time of mourning for me and my family. But I hope to start piecing things back together after Rachel’s funeral; after a final official goodbye. I hope to start re-assembling my shattered imaginary future.
I haven’t lost what Rachel created. I’ve lost what was never mine to claim. I lost what I imagined I’d have, what I assumed would be there in the future: Her laugh, her words, her take on the latest thing. Was it reasonable to assume I’d have that? That at 38, 39, 40 she’d still be alive? Sure. Was that future owed to me? No.
Sometimes we just don’t get what we want.
But I have hope. The kind of stubborn hope that exists in the face of certain future tragedy. It’s a hope that’s aware of the past, the present, and the future possibilities. It’s a hope that’s fulfilled every time I remember I can still laugh at bad jokes, still be a friend to my friends, still love my children. It’s not a hope that requires life to turn out how I want. It’s not a hope that I have to wait for. It’s a hope that takes delight in all the things that are still good. It’s a hope I learned from Rachel.
I write these words not because I always feel them. But because I hope they will someday make up enough of me to matter. I want to be just a bit more like the person I see reflected back in my edited self. The person Rachel saw in me. She made me better than I was before I met her. She left the world better than how she found it. For that I will always be grateful.
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