On Healing After Tragedy—A Coin And A Prayer
Written by
Angela Martin
September 2010
Written by
Angela Martin
September 2010
It’s hard to believe that a year has passed since Brad died. Brad was my husband Rob’s good friend from childhood. The kind of lasting friend you hang on to, who you easily pick up with even when you haven’t spoken for a few years. When news came late one night last July that Brad had been hit by a car, that it wasn’t good, that he’d pushed Kristine out of the way as they walked across the road, that she was okay, but that he wasn’t going to make it, and doctors were planning to harvest as many organs as they could—it was incomprehensible. The words bounced off our ears like hail on pavement. I sat straight up in bed the night before Brad’s funeral knowing I had to give his girlfriend, Kristine, a coin Noelle had given me. (Kristine and Brad had been together for about 15 years.) I went downstairs, feeling my way in the dark to find the coin on my kitchen windowsill. It was the size of a quarter, gunmetal grey and imprinted on one side with two hands pressed together in prayer. On the other side, the words of the Serenity Prayer were embossed, as if they were Braille. I took the coin and ran my thumb over the words the way I had so many times before. This prayer was essential to Noelle and I. It had carried us through the darkest places. I put the coin in my purse, ready to part with it—with a keen awareness that it was a lifeline. After the funeral the following morning, I pressed the coin into Kristine’s palm the way Noelle had pressed it into mine years earlier. “This is a little something to hold onto,” I told her. “With all my heart, I believe Brad’s at peace.” I’d write her a letter a few days later to explain about the coin that my lifelong best friend had given me—that it was a symbol to us of hope, friendship and healing. I closed the letter with these words: “Know that someday, when you’re on the other side of mourning there will be an opportunity for you to pass the coin on to someone else who needs it—and you will. Brad’s okay, Kristine, and you will be, too.” Don’t be afraid to share your faith with a friend, to pass it on as you would a gift. Even if you don’t know where she is on her own spiritual journey, even if your own faith is but a flicker. It’s part of the healing power friendship holds. And for those who have lost a loved one, the Serenity Prayer is for you: God grant me serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference. Anonymous xo, Angela P.S. Thinking of you, Kristine. http://www.justcate.com/ http://blog.justcate.com/

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