Monday, September 13, 2010

I Miss You Jalidia!

Wow... I did not anticipate today being so hard! Today when I woke up I knew that it would be a hard day, but I felt strong, now I find myself overcome with emotion.  Today is September 13th, my beautiful little sister Jalidia's birthday, she would have been 16 today.  Today would have been a day filled with excitement for her, finally old enough to date cute boys and get her driver's license. Today would have been such a happy day, but Jalidia is not here with us, today marks six months since the day she left this life.  I can't believe it's been 6 months, it seems like it's been so much longer than that, but at the same time it seems so vivid, like we just lost her yesterday. 
I can quite honestly say that this has been the most difficult and trying time in my entire life. Never has my faith in our loving Savior Jesus Christ been so tested. I have had moments when I feel great peace and comfort and then other moments when it feels impossible to feel anything but deep sorrow and despair. What I have learned is that even in those moments of darkness and loneliness we need to hold onto the times when we have felt the love and strength of our Savior and hold onto that. What I want more than anything right now is to wrap my arms around my sweet little sister and tell her how deeply I love her and miss her, there are many things I don’t understand about this life and why we have to endure the private trials that each one of us face, but one thing I know is that the only way I will be able to be with my sister again is through our loving Savior Jesus Christ. He is the only way; I know that it is through Him that my sister lives on, just as each of us will after we have left this life. Jesus said “I am the resurrection, and the life, he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live!”

Elder Donald L. Hallstrom of the Presidency of the Seventy said  "Throughout the world and among the membership of the Church, there is great joy and great pain. Both are part of the plan. Without one, we cannot know the other. “Men are, that they might have joy” (2 Nephi 2:25) and “for it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things” (2 Nephi 2:11) are not contradictory; they are complementary. In describing how he felt when he turned to the Lord, Alma the Younger said, “My soul was filled with joy as exceeding as was my pain” (Alma 36:20).”

I have learned that life is so very good, even when it is so terribly difficult. The challenge is recognizing the good, and being grateful for all of it. It's easier said than done, and it has been a daily struggle for me. But I know that the days when I turn to the Lord for strength, His love helps me get through the pain, and I am able to better recognize how very blessed I am.

I have found great comfort in the book "The GATEWAY We Call Death" by Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Twelve Apostles he says "Each marvelous moment is both a mystery and a miracle. While mourning, may we not take life's wonder for granted." "Those we call dead are not dead at all. They are alive---on the other side of the veil.... The happiness found in this life is only a sample of the everlasting joy that awaits us later. If any of us mourn for lost loved ones today, we can be comforted and know that in due time "God shall wipe away all tears... and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain. (Revelation 21:4)"

I am grateful for my life, I am grateful that sweet Jalidia is my sister, that we will all be together again as a family after this life. I love my sister, and I love my Savior Jesus Christ who made it possible for me to be with my sister again. I love my sweet husband who has loved me and strengthened me through these difficult months, I am grateful for my two precious boys who remind me every day how fun life is, I love my amazing Mom and Dad who continue to be wonderful examples of faith and strength to me, and I am so thankful for each and every one of my 12 brothers & sisters and all that they have taught me. Life is hard, but it is so good, and I'm grateful for each day that I am blessed with.

Always tell those whom you love that you love them, you never know when you will see them again. 
Each day is a gift.
Enjoy Life!


Ryan said...

Well Duff Family, I appreciate your post on many levels and I just wanted to thank you for sharing such a testimony of the love that can exist between a family and its connection to our Savior. Continue to find comfort in each other and the countless memories that have been made.

Melissa said...

Happy Birthday to Jalidia. She has such a beautiful smile. I am also grateful for your testimony and I'll add mine, that I know families are eternal, that is why it is called the Plan of Happiness.

Stan & Isabelle said...

thru my tears i write ... love you sweet Jessica, what sweet words and emotions are felt. happy birthday to beautiful Jalidia !

Joanne Duff said...

Jessica, you are wise beyond your years. What a sweet post for your dear sister. Here's wishing her a Happy Birthday. I know that she knows of your love for her and I want you to know of my love for you.

Laurie said...

Such a sweet tribute, Jessica. I know that your testimony will help many others. Grieving is such an intense and personal process...we all do it differently. There will always be good days and bad days. Being "well aquainted with grief" myself, I can reafirm your thoughts; it is only through our loving Savior that we are able to bear the grief.
I'm remembering your family in my prayers.

Josie said...

Such beautiful words Jess! I completely agree with everything you said. I too am so very thankful for the gospel of Jesus Christ. We definitely have to embrace the eternal perspective and the grief together. Keep being strong, you are amazing! Love you!

A few books I'd reccommend- The Message by Lance Richardson, Guide Me to Eternity by Kathrine Monson, and Grieving, the Pain and the Promise by Deana Edwards.

laurdacooj said...

what a sweet post to your beautiful, sweet sister Jalidia. Thank you for sharing your loving testimony of our Savior.
happy 16th birthday Jalidia <3

Stacey said...

Jessica, this was so beautifully written. You are so amazing and strong. Anyone who has ever been around your family could attest to the incredibly deep love that you have for each other. I am so glad for the knowledge we have of the gospel, and that you will see your beautiful sister again. I love you guys.

The Burtons said...

My sweet dear Jessica, I love you so very much and am so grateful every day for our very special friendship and for the sweet blessing of getting to be your Mother and for your beautiful example of faith in my life.
We all hurt and miss our precious
~*JALIDIA*~ more than our words or our tears can ever show!
MOM xo xo