Thursday, July 31, 2008

We will miss you Katelyn

The past 4 days have been the longest 4 days of my life. The emotions I went through are ones that I hope to never have to deal with again. How do you get past such a tragic event? How will Roger & Anita (Katelyn's parents) ever make it through another day with a smile? The only answer I have is Jesus.

For those of you who don't know the story, I will try to recap it a bit.

Katelyn Friesen, one of Keith's cousins, was traveling home late Thursday night after watching the Bombers win for the first time this season. It was raining, and she had very little visibility. While she was driving, we are pretty sure she was texting a friend. One of her texts mentioned that she couldn't see anything. It was shortly after this that she went off the road, and her car flipped numerous times. Might be as many as 6. She died instantly, but her car sat in that ditch for around 5 or 6 hours before anyone found her. Roger & Anita only found out around 9 am on Friday.

Sunday we went to Roger & Anita's house to be a support. It is just heart breaking to see a parent grieve the loss of a child. Yet, talking to Anita yesterday, she realizes that it is time to step up once again. To rise up and do the work that God has called her to do as a mother, wife, and friend. I am so blessed to be a part of this family.

That is one thing that has rung clear in my mind these past 4 days. Keith couldn't have come from a more caring and loving family. Keith was double cousins with Katelyn. Their dads are brothers and their moms are sisters. This bond made their families very close while the kids were growing up. Keith's parents did an awesome job of taking care of Roger & Anita this past weekend.

But they weren't the only ones. I think pretty much every member of the Friesen and Brandt families showed their love and care this past week.

The question 'why?' still remains for a lot of people though. Katelyn made such a huge impact on so many people. She lived in a small town of only a few hundred people. There were hundreds at her funeral. How did an 18 year old make such an impact? She was told to be the most caring and compassionate person. During the open mic at the funeral, many shared how she had loved them. Jesus was shining through her in ways that she probably never even imagined.

You can read part of her story here. This article was the product of sincere interest on the part of the Winnipeg Free Press. No one from the family contacted them to write anything. Yet her story was linked from the front page on Monday! Some of the interest came from Katelyn's Facebook page. There are over 100 posts on her wall since she passed away. Every one of them claiming her caring and loving.

Wow... God sure used this young woman for His glory! Her funeral was beautiful, with true HOPE being offered to the many people there who have none. Our friend Dwight Plett sang a beautiful song about how we need Jesus. It was so powerful. I wish I had the words to share them with you.

I made it through the day pretty well, without too many tears, until Jensen shared. Jensen was part of the youth group that Keith and I helped lead when we were newlyweds. He is no longer a teen, but a young man of God. He shared a bit of an analogy, that just really hit me hard.

Thursday night Katelyn was watching the Winnipeg Blue Bombers play. She loved football. During that game, they pulled one of their star players, and put in a newbie. This resulted in the rest of the team stepping up and winning the game. Jensen likened this to Katelyn's life. God has called her out of the game of life. Now it is our turn as her fellow teammates and Christians, to step up our game and do the work that God has called us to do.

I guess this is something I have known that I need to do for a long time. Just hearing it from someone else really impacted me. I pray that I will be able to step up and do my part.

Katelyn, you touched many lives. I know there will be many more meeting you in Heaven soon, because of how you loved. Thanks for the reminder to love others. You will be greatly missed.


Brandi said...

Oh this is just heartbreaking! And it gave me chills to think that she was not found for so many hours. How sad. I will definitely be keeping the family in my prayers

Jamy said...

Wow, this story gave me shivers. So horrible. I'll be praying for you, and the family.

Bruce and Heather said...

I don't cry easily, but I did cry while reading this.

Jenn said...

Oh Stacey, I am so sorry to hear this news. I am so moved by your post of Katelyn's life. It is so encouraging to know how much of an impact for Christ that she had on other youth. That is pretty amazing!

I will be praying. May the God of all comfort minister to you all, and keep you in His perfect peace.

Blessings, Jenn

Jobina said...

Thank you so much for the update on how things happened and how the family is. We were so sad to have to miss the funeral, to say goodbye to Katelyn and to be there for all of you, especially Anita and Roger. I had tears rolling down my face this morning when I read your post. I felt a little bit like I had been there too, thanks.

Andrea said...

How very sad - it's hard to understand but God has a plan no matter how hard it is to understand. I can't imagine and my prayers are with all the of you, everyone grieving over this tragic death. *hugs*

Dan & Laura said...

That is so tragic. I have tears in my eyes and I don't even know her. What a difficult thing for the family to go through.

Kenzie Prudhomme said...

Wow! I can't even imagine and want to express my sympathy to this family.
It's these types of things that make me question God but pray more.

Lauralynn3 said...

this is a heartbreaking story. What a beautiful young lady inside and out!

My sister's 17 year old boyfriend died about 8 years ago. The amazing thing was his testimony to all of his non-believing friends in high school. Jesus was definitely glorified through his life. My sister got up at his funeral and was strong through the whole thing saying, "Ben (her boyfriend) would have wanted people to come to Jesus through his death." I still think about him today and cry but remind myself that his life had a purpose (not one that I would have chosen) but God's ways are not our own.

I love how you say there is no answer to get through something like this except Jesus. b/c I know from experience it is true.

God Bless your family and I pray God will help ease some of your pain.

Sheena said...

This is such a tragic thing to happen to such a great girl.. I didn't know Katelyn but from reading her facebook page and seeing the comments people have wrote it made me cry... she was obviously such a great person and I wish I would of known her...