An Epiphany: Suffering is a Blessing.

11 months. Another milestone in the minefield of grief. I feel so disconnected from the life I shared with her. I think about where I was last year and where I am now, sitting content in the Bristol sunshine. It has suddenly dawned on me that I got everything I wanted out of this year. Everything. I barely recognise the girl in those old journal entries so confused, so bitter and clueless. Now that confusion has turned to clarity through faith, that bitterness to a bittersweet combination of peace and sadness that pumps continually through my veins and that cluelessness to a wisdom obtained only through the experiences that God has blessed me with.

A blessing. This is today's revelation. Suffering is a blessing, not because, as Thomas Mann would advocate, it makes us better artists but because it nurtures discipline and gratitude. The truth is God has blessed me through Annie's death; he has given me insight into his character and eternal promises. He has taught me so much through the life she lived and the impact she had on everybody. She was pure joy and pure fun. The friendship she gave me inspires me everyday. This blessing is of course not without its pain. Sometimes I feel like I've cried myself dry and there are still mornings where grief leaves me emotionally barren and I can't quite fathom the concept of her not being here anymore. I miss her sassyness and her fierce loyalty to her God, her church and her friends. her twitter feed makes me explode with giggles every time and her photos remind me that once this petite bundle of teenage beauty sat next to me in church, walked beside me and answered my text messages pretty much instantly.

I'll admit that there is still a fear of engaging with the reality of it all. It still feels to big and too devastating to comprehend. But I don't think I'll ever fully understand, I can only trust that God knew where our intertwined lives were headed, only plead with him to give me small glimpses of heaven and only allow myself moments to reflect and remember.

I never want to forget. I never want it to become something i can gloss over, partly because it has taught me so much about friendship, love, God and myself but also because my friend Angharad was the the sort of girl everyone should have the privilege of knowing and everyday I wish I had known her better because nothing I write will ever do her justice. This is why I continue to blog about her. It's my humble and albeit somewhat pathetic attempt at keeping her memory alive.


  1. You do keep her memory alive. And even though I never met her, your love for her inspires me in turn.

    "Suffering is a blessing, not because, as Thomas Mann would advocate, it makes us better artists but because it nurtures discipline and gratitude."

    Your writing and path of words and ideas is poised and profound. You are remarkable!

  2. Keep writing and keep loving. In these days of obsession with the instant and the moment, treasuring another is a reminder that it is who we love and who loves us that counts. Consider the One whose love broke the barrier of death and sin and gives us eternal hope for life on earth and the heavenly existence that Annie now enjoys.