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Life... and DeathPosted Wednesday, August 3, 2011, at 12:43 PM
Although I have thankfully not experienced losing a child, I know in my soul that would be the worst pain in the world.
About 20 years ago, I watched one of my best friends, Beth Scroggins, lose her soon to be three year old daughter to meningitis. It all happened within 24 hours. That precious blonde hair, blue eyed baby got sick and began throwing up at about three o'clock one morning and by nine that night, she was gone. It was traumatic for all of those who knew the angelic little girl, but her mother was never the same.
Just four months ago, I listened to Beth as she cried wishing her pain would ease just a little from missing her daughter.
Most of the time it was Beth who listened to me cry or whine about something or another. I can't remember a time when I couldn't call or go see her when I had a problem and I always felt better after our talk. My problem may not have been solved, but I always felt better -- and that is what mattered.
Three months ago, Beth suffered a brain aneurysm. I went to see her at Vanderbilt as she lay in a coma and I held her hand. It was as if she knew it was me and she squeezed my hand back and even moved a bit. The doctors told me it was involuntary, but I knew better. She was trying to tell me to get her out of there! At least, that's what makes me smile -- thinking of us laughing and making jokes about whatever crazy situation we end up in.
Beth died a few days later and I now know that losing a best friend is also a gut wrenching pain. I miss her every day. The one wonderful thing is that I know she no longer misses her precious baby girl.
Just a few weeks ago, my grandmother also passed away. She was very sick and I am relieved that she is no longer suffering. She was my mother's mother and I believe that losing a parent is the second most grieved loss.
My mother and her two sisters will never again be able to call their mom up to find out how she made her apricot fried pies or her zucchini bread. And they won't ever be able to call her again just to see how she is doing that day.
The death of a loved one is devastating to their parents, children, siblings, spouses and even friends. I picked up a book right after Beth died and it has helped me a lot.
I was at my mom's house a week or so before my grandmother died and spotted the book 90 Minutes in Heaven by Don Piper. She had not read it but said I could go ahead and borrow it.
It was hard to put down. And I believe God was the whole reason I saw the book on my mom's shelf to begin with. He knew I needed to read it. I have always believed in Heaven and knew it would be a wonderful place, but reading Piper's recollection of his own alleged trip comforted me in my time of grief.
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Sherri Frame, a former staff-writer for the T-G, grew up in Wartrace and now makes her home in Shelbyville with her daughter, Jordan. She graduated from Cascade High School and earned her bachelor's degree in management at Trevecca Nazarene University. Sherri is currently unemployed.