This week, my heart has been so heavy.
Saturday morning, I got a call that my sweet friend, Amy Lewis, suddenly and tragically lost her husband, Jim, on Friday evening. As my jaw dropped to the floor and I tried to process the implications of what that meant, I couldn't stop shaking. Amy lives right around the corner from me, so I headed over there as quickly as I could, on the verge of puking the whole time.
It was too familiar. Only this time, I wasn't looking at the moment to moment but could envision every horrible moment I faced through this painstaking journey that I was certain Amy knew nothing about yet. You'd think having walked down this awful road, I would have some insight or some inkling of what to say or what to do. All I could come up with was I need to hug her. I need to be near here. I need her to know I am here. Past that, I was helpless.
Amy was one of the faces that continued to show up after Jeremy died. She was my comic relief, my break from real life, and one of the women who continually served me and my family. I specifically remember seeing her one morning on my way out of the house while she was making her way in bright and early to clean for me. I remember feeling overwhelmed with gratitude for one less task I had to think about, one less worry to have.
It was two months to the day of Jim's death that I last saw him. We met up with mutual friends to have lunch after church at Dickie's. I sat on the kid-end of the table, taking pictures of the kiddos and keeping them under control, so I didn't get to interact with Jim much. But I remember a lot of laughter.
Amy and I have known each other for quite a few years. She worked at the college when I attended, and worked there with Jeremy, and she and Jim were in a small group with us a few years ago. We've grown closer even since Jeremy's death, through her generosity and our occasional week day breakfasts. My heart has been with her almost every moment since I found out. She's only 34. Jim was 39. This isn't supposed to keep happening to people around me. My heart has also been with Mark Johnson, who is one of Jim's best friend - who also happened to be the friend that found my Jeremy dead beneath his tree stand and was with Amy the moment she found out. He has lost two of his closest friends in such a short amount of time and I know the weight he is carrying is so heavy.
My heart aches with the need to DO SOMETHING. I know how hard it was for me to ask for help, so I'm not waiting around for her to ask. I'm doing something. Anything. One thing I know is that Amy discovered the terrible news that since the life insurance policy her and Jim took out 20 months ago did not meet the 24 month limit before cashing out, she will not be receiving life insurance money. Just one more heavy burden on an already devastated heart.
So, with the little resources I have, I have decided that for the entire month of December, I will be raising money for Amy, in honor of Jim, to cover the cost of funeral expenses and generally ease the financial burden that Amy is facing. I don't make much from this blog on my own, but with the help of all of you, I am confident that we can make a dent. A significant dent. All you have to do is click on my blog as many times a day as you can for the month of December. Make sure the page loads - THAT'S IT. Each page impression creates revenue.
In addition, I have added a Paypal donation button at the top left of my page for people to go above and beyond the call to help. What Amy needs is community, and in the season of giving, I pray that you would consider helping this incredible woman, and my sweet friend, breathe a little easier while she struggles to take the next step without her husband of almost 11 years.
|Amy & Jim Lewis - married almost 11 years.|
|Jim and Amy, along with some of my nearest and dearest friends, supporting my children at the Jeremy King memorial dinner last November.|
|Jim & Amy's engagement photos|
|Jim & Amy, along with their closest friends, Tamara & Mark, at our wedding in May.|
|A few of the women who were staples through my grief journey, who are now walking this horrible path along side another hurting friend.|
Thank you in advance for the love and support I already know is over flowing for Amy. Thank you for your generous hearts and for the prayers that will be so vital to her. Y'all are such a blessing to me, and I know you will be for Amy as well.