We’ll Be Glad, For All the Love We Had

First, thank you for all of the emails, Facebook messages, Gofundme donations, texts, calls, and prayers this month. We have felt so loved and are so appreciative.

This month we unexpectedly lost my mother-in-law, Heather, and sister-in-law, Cassie. The loss of Cass was exceptionally hard because it was SO unexpected. She was young and healthy. And man, we had plans! She leaves behind a loving family, including her husband and my brother, Eric, and their little girl, Scout, age 3.

I feel like I’m just coming out of a fog. I realize from listening to the news that I’m not the only one suffering these days. Shootings in Baton Rouge, Minneapolis, Dallas, another terrorist attack in Paris – this life is sometimes so hard.

Questions of life and death swirl in my brain. Like, where is Heather? Where is Cassie? What comes next? How can we go on with two empty chairs? It has left me feeling very vulnerable; stuff happens. There have also been silver linings. Even as we feel broken, our family is tighter and stronger. We know we love each other. We know time is short. This is our one chance to make this life mean something – everything. I have felt peace and comfort as I pray – it’s there and it’s real.

The first law of thermodynamics popped into my head this morning: energy cannot be created or destroyed. It made me think about our physical body versus our spirit. There is comfort for even for the most scientifically minded.

I always go to two coping skills: writing and running. But this time it was hard to muster. I was just so tired. Thankfully my husband and running buddies have pulled me outside to run. Writing? Would I ever blog again? I didn’t want to write. I just wanted to skip over Cassie’s death. It was too hard to capture. Too much.  Avoidance and an abundance of ice-cream helped stave off the inner nagging (did you know Utah has the BEST ice-cream? There is an overabundance of creamy deliciousness from a variety of vendors on every corner! It’s as common as their churches!)

If I was ever going to blog again, I knew I had to face the computer screen and say something. This is what happened. Write it down. 

So.

My brother, Patrick, started a gofundme page for our brother, Eric, and his daughter, Scout. Rather than write it out here, you can read the full story there. In 20 days, over $27,000 was raised for the funeral and medical expenses. We are so overwhelmed by your generosity. So grateful. Thank you, thank you.

Burying Cassie wasn’t exactly the yearly family reunion we were expecting or wanting, but it was pretty miraculous that we were already gathering when her accident occurred in Boise. It was incredible that I was able to be with my brother and sit in the hospital for days with him. It was terrible and sad and emotional. But it was also bonding, spiritual; we had moments that will forever connect us.

I will never forget watching my brother lose the love of his life. I’ll never be so proud of him as I watched him pull himself together to make heartbreaking decisions and put a smile on his face for his little girl, Scout. The love was palpable.

IMG_6399Sweet Scout and Eric.

PqJE924QRhxluvUJH6AqGICmd8mcnBLnkl9NsT_33VA,LWZ90wXtYvxWYoqOIvLAFWmn2D0CillNxCWddhe7ILI,EQKsOLdoRwq3oLLroek3z-hB9lNdIfDLLJfk52vUN0MEric is an amazing father. Photography by Cassie. And Cass loved being a mother.

IMG_7176How blessed we were to have Cassie. Here is her beloved Idaho.

DSC_0130Cassie grew up in teeny tiny, Emmett Idaho. Because of her grace, beauty, kindness, she was jokingly teased as “the rose of Emmett.”

Everything she touched was better. She was kind, graceful, and elegant. In March, when we were on our “sister’s cruise,” Cass was reading Brene Brown’s, “The Gifts of Imperfection.” She said she was trying to let go of her need and angst for perfection. Ironically, her perfectionistic tendencies were great strengths and part of what I admired most about her. I always wanted to be more like her, to be a little more classy, to not be so sloppy. I suppose I can still try 🙂

Cassie was always helping me get better at design, creativity, and photography. She designed this blog and put up with my endless tech questions about pull-down menus, subscribe and share buttons. I feel a bit adrift without her at the helm. She did countless mock-ups of book covers as we discussed book ideas and concepts. We talked at length about photography and editing. Cass had recently launched her own photography business, Linen and Lace Photography. Isn’t she incredible?

We shared an affinity for hair products and woefully recounted how to best tame naturally curly hair. When I saw the bottles of shampoo and conditioner lined up on her bathtub I felt like laughing and bursting into tears. Obviously, she had mastered the tame: 🙂IMG_6431

DSC_0102 IMG_7114 IMG_7128Grief is the price we pay for loving her so much.

DSC_1006This picture is so sweet. It also makes me laugh – Scout found those two paper clips and refused to take them off her fingers.

IMG_6392 Eric and Scout have some hard times ahead of them, but I have every faith in him as a father.

And I believe the words he said in his eulogy for Cass: “Our hearts are broken as we say goodbye, but we are thankful we had Cassie for 35 incredible, adventurous, and beautiful years. We hold out hope that our journeys in life will sail us back to her.” Amen.

Love you forever, Cass.

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15 thoughts on “We’ll Be Glad, For All the Love We Had

  1. Kea Huq

    Amy. I feel so sad so far away in Nebraska. My heart goes out to my dear sister Mary, Eric, Scout and the rest of you all.Prayers for all if you and may God the Almighty keep you all safe till we meet again

    Reply
  2. Katie

    Thank you for writing and sharing. I’m so glad you had the sister’s cruise. That was inspired. I now have a great memory of Cassie, a few days before she went into a coma, we were at the same small zoo. I saw her from afar having fun with Scout! I remembered who she was, and her relation to you. She was so beautiful, She leaves a lasting impression on all who knew her.

    Reply
  3. Ray

    I didn’t know she designed your blog. It is the best one I’ve seen, well organized and flows well.

    By the way, your eye for photography is really good. The pictures above capture a lot of the feelings of that weekend in Idaho.

    Reply
  4. Herb

    Amy,

    Thanks for sharing thoughts and memories. I know that this has been an incredibly difficult time for all of you. May you be blessed by gospel assurances. Blessings and love from Ukraine. Elder Cihak

    Reply
  5. Leanne Goeschel

    Amy – I somehow missed this information earlier. I am so sorry for the loss of your beloved Cassie. Thank goodness for families who can wrap their arms around each other and console one another.
    Leanne

    Reply
  6. JOANNE BAGLEY

    I love you. I appreciate your blog because you are so able to express how you feel and how you are dealing. Ice cream is my go to comforter. I have eaten too much recently.
    I send you hugs to comfort you in your losses. Thankfully we both know that Heather and Cassie are just waiting for a future time when all will be together again. It is the only way to get through these sad times. As I said, I love you.

    Reply
  7. Naomi Cope

    Well done, Amy. You captured the essence of how many of us feel. I know that writing is often healing. For me, reading your blog is also healing! Love, love, love your beautiful pictures!! Love you, too! <3

    Reply
  8. Katie

    How beautiful and heart wrenching Amy. I will say prayers for peace and comfort for all, especially for a tiny girl who lost her precious mama.

    Reply
  9. Barbara Bohan

    I am touched by your family as you faced this huge loss. I know Scout will be surrounded in her life by loving family. My thoughts and prayers with your family and Eric.

    Reply
  10. Jennifer Goulet

    Your pictures are beautiful and I am Very Glad you decided to bite the bullet and write because I would have missed your blog! I love you!

    Reply
  11. JULIE BOLEK

    (Julie Bush from Rock Brook ward). This year has definitely been a year of great sorry. I lost my brother Craig after 3 yrs of fighting cancer, 20 years after we lost Amy. Two of my cousins died within 3 days of each other, one was 34 and one 35. And then in June I lost an uncle. I often wonder some days how much sorrow one family can endure. Every day I pray for peace and someday understanding.

    Reply

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