i've been putting off this post for several days now. i just don't feel like i have the words to express my heart. but, it needs to be written.
late last monday afternoon, our hearts broke as they have never broken before. michael's best friend andrew called him with shocking and horrifying news: their healthy, 8-month-old daughter caden passed away suddenly that afternoon. we are heart-broken and devastated with them. and yet, we only share a piece of their heartache.
we flew to be with andrew and cari last week. i never thought i would help my friends bury their daughter. it was such an honor to walk with them at such an intimate time. they were amazing -- let me tell you, we have an awesome God. they both exuded peace like i have never seen in the midst of grief. they were able to stand together and give caden's eulogy at her funeral. cari consistently talked about how good God has been through the grief -- and it wasn't just something she said; she pointed at specific ways she saw His tender care for her. they were both able to be a comfort to their families at what is the most difficult point in their own lives. it was amazing to watch.
it was amazing, also, to watch the body of Christ at work. someone stepped forward to pay all of the costs associated with the hospital and funeral. after hearing andy talk about getting away for a week, someone else offered to send them on a cruise to be together. andy and cari mentioned multiple times that the reason they were able to stand and speak of caden was because of the support of their friends and family. the reason we were able to laugh (and oh, how we laughed -- that sounds weird, doesn't it, considering we were there to cry together -- the only time cari and i actually cried together was when she first hugged me after getting out of the car) was because followers of Christ throughout the country were lifting up our dear friends. there were many tears, and there are still tears, our hearts are still heavy, but moments of joy shone through the sorrow.
michael said caden's funeral felt like a wedding. i smile to type that, because in many ways, it was: a celebration of one little bride being united with the Lamb. but, it definitely hurts to lose this precious baby girl.
if you'd like, you can hop on over to visit them to leave a comment and let them know you're praying for them.