A friend/colleague died today. She went in last week for routine surgery, had complications, and had no brain activity. She was removed from life support yesterday and she passed on today. My heart breaks for her sweet family. She was our school's psychologist and she was a kind woman who genuinely cared about us as teachers and about our students. She was 3 years younger than I am. She has twin girls in second grade and an almost four year old daughter. My heart is breaking for them. They are about the same ages as my Ella and Gabby. The twins came to our school in kindergarten and they are darling. Her younger sister was killed in an automobile accident just a couple of months ago. There has been too much grieving in their family already, and now this.
So many that I love face such difficult challenges. I guess in the past I have been mostly happily oblivious to the struggles that so many face, and now I am consciously aware. That is good and bad. I am learning a great deal more love and compassion, but there are days when it feels my heart is breaking for these beloved friends.
Last night we had a Relief Society Temple night. We met at the church and then carpooled to the temple to do an endowment session. Because of my personal circumstances, I know it can be hard to go to the temple alone if your spouse cannot attend with you. So my thought was that holding these temple outings every other month might encourage others to come along who maybe might be less likely to go by themselves or on a ward night. Six of us went, and it was wonderful. I had no idea when I scheduled this first one how much I personally would need that trip on that very day. I was feeling so saddened by the imminent loss of my colleague and burdened down by the knowledge of several others that are struggling. I was physically, emotionally and spiritually exhausted. Going to the temple brought such peace. The Savior has promised, "I will not leave you comfortless." "Peace I give unto you, my peace I leave with you. ..."
As I was in the temple, I could envision a happy reunion between Sarah and her sister. I could envision the Savior taking her and each of us in His arms and embracing her/us. I want to live so that some day I can kneel before my Savior and give Him thanks and then be embraced in the arms of His love. I feel grateful for the peace that the Spirit can bring to us. My heart still aches for Sarah's family and their loss. We will miss her and I can't imagine how challenging it will be for her husband, her children, her parents who have now lost two children in just a couple of months. They are in my prayers. I hope they, too, can begin to find peace from the Savior. It is perhaps the greatest blessing we can receive in this life, particularly during difficult times.