Today was a horribly sad day. I attended the funeral for one of my friends, Erin Durkee. She passed away last Monday evening from an allergic reaction that later led to cardiac arrest. She was 31 years old.
Upon first hearing the news Monday night, I was in shock. I couldn’t believe it and I was full of questions. It’s been difficult for me this week because pre-kids, I could’ve picked up and gone to a friend’s house to deal with the news. Instead, I have been home with the kids, while my husband has been at work. Friends have been getting together to support one another all week and I haven’t been able to do that. On one hand, the distraction of family life is a good thing, because it kept me busy. On the other hand, it kept me so busy that I wasn’t able to process everything with the comfort of friends and I felt alone with my feelings. I was on the phone when I could be, and thanks to the Voxer app, I was able to have lengthy conversations with people when I could. Either way, life goes on and I had to continue taking care of the kids and the house and that was that.
Erin had a lot of friends and she was little miss personality. I was only friends with her for 10 years, but she had friendships that were going onto 20. She had moved to Florida at the end of last year, and she had been back in town since the beginning of June. The last time I saw her was before she left for Florida and we went out bar hopping and had a nice girls night out. She came to my house and hung out with Lance and the kids while I got ready. She was so funny and fun to be around, and the things that would come out of her mouth would crack me up. She was a down to earth girl which made confiding in her easy to do, so conversation was never a hard thing to have with her. I really miss her.
Going to viewings is always a tough thing to do, but there were five cork boards full of pictures, memories and stories galore. By the end of the night, there wasn’t any more room on the boards for pictures. All five boards were full. It was really cool to see her as she grew up from a baby into a woman. Lots of smiles, laughing and goofiness. She had a beautiful soul. That was Erin.
I don’t really know how I feel about the afterlife, although I have begun to read books about it. That is a tricky topic for me with the upbringing I’ve had as a Jehovah’s Witness (that’s a different blog for a different day). But what I do know, is that your experiences make who you are and my feelings about Erin and our friendship are part of me now. I am a better person for having known her. I feel lucky to have had the time that I did with her. Appreciating those memories and the times you have with people are all you’ve got at the end of the day. Not taking each other for granted and the time we have here on this earth is key. We need to look out for one another, not bring each other down. We have to stick together and take care of each other. We need to be good to one another and bring positivity into each other’s lives, not negative energy. We need to do right by our loved ones who pass away by living these lessons out and not giving up in our lives. We need to live and learn.
Erin left us way too soon. It is so sad and such a shame. It’s heartbreaking.
The only way to honor her (and our other loved ones who have passed) is to keep her memory alive, to do something productive with those memories. We need to look after each other and keep one another in check.
I wish I had the gift of writing, so that I could post a beautiful piece on Erin, but I only have my feelings to share. I have a heavy heart and am so sad for her family and friends. They are all in my constant prayers and thoughts.
I will never forget you, Erin. I love you.