I HAVE wrestled with this for a wee while now. I have not wanted to write anything. I have felt very unworthy and inadequate to do so.It’s Friday night, though here I am still writing: I decided to go for it, as I don’t believe a little honour towards someone who’s passed on can do any harm.
For the past 8 days or so, my thoughts and prayers, like many of you reading this, have been sincerely with the McKee family in Mid-Ulster.
At the end of a working week, which saw the massive funeral of a bright, talented, compassionate, sensitive, beautiful young lady buried at the beginning of it, my gut wrenches with sadness, ongoingly, if honest, at the thoughts of it all still fresh in my soul as I type.
Perhaps none of us really know how special someone is until they are gone. Perhaps not many of us stop to appreciate the latent beauty all around us in daily interactions until something snatches it away like a blooming flower crushed callously.
Let’s face it. Becky McKee was pretty special. Though the truth is none of us really knew, perhaps, quite how much so, until her sad, untimely passing on the 8th September.
I barely knew Becky on one level, yet on another, like so many others it seems, we felt a deep connection. Like so many others, I have felt the pain of her passing as a tangible hole in my soul, originally numbed by shock, now more pertinently poignant as days pass. Becky also represents so much to me. A third suicide in my sphere of life, and a raw re-opening of some more grieving, no doubt, to be done on the previous other two.
Becky and I met in summer 2007, and had only recently reconnected at a friend’s wedding, but we launched ‘in the deep end’ with an intense, meaningful, organic conversation of importance and seriousness I now feel all the more incredibly, and thus treasure, now the beauty of this girl is gone from planet earth.
The truth is I have waited to write this, since as I said, I didn’t feel worthy or it appropriate for me to write anything: There were hundreds of others who knew Becky much more closely than I. Yet it seems fitting to simply add a few of my meager words in tribute, amidst the ongoing grieving process now begun for those of you reading still left in, truthfully, ongoing shock and bewilderment.
Becky and I were very similar in a lot of ways, and hence our instant re-connection in that conversation a few months ago, as kindred spirits re-lit each others flames. Becky understood where I was at, at that time, like few others. I understood where she was at as perhaps so, so few others could. Becky also had more recently discovered I was the younger sister of two of my brothers (I wont name them to protect them from the embarrassment of association with me online, lol!) and again excitedly launched into chatting about my family connections, resemblances, and similarities. Even as I type, some tears are starting to flow.
Joy, however, is one trait many will remember Becky for, and I for one, thanked her enormously for bringing great joy to me that night we spoke, and a very present presence of compassion, so few others possess except the sensitive souls of this earth so often misunderstood and under-appreciated.
Becky, perhaps we have all learned, was of a very special ‘ilk.’ An immense credit to her parents and family. Who must take real heart and deep comfort in such deep, sincere tributes from friends she touched, both near and far. A real one off, Becky was not someone to simply slap a bible verse on things and preach to someone to get over their woes. She took time to listen. She took time to compassionately care. She did what Jesus would do.
So from her days as a Rainey teenager, when we first met, to the fine young woman she had grown into and become, Becky McKee represented a fine breed like few others. An independent spirited, strong lady able to travel to New York and beyond on her own. Yet able to come back to her roots and re-connect with the simple humility of home. Like I said, a real credit to her parents and family.
Becky was a spiritual lady, and succumbed to the spiritual forces of darkness at work and very real in our world, but we must not think or feel that God did not have the final say. Ultimately Becky’s life is a seed, planted in the beauty of Mid-Ulster, and my personal humble prayer for all reading and her beloved family, is that some additional comfort shall supernaturally arise, even from the pathetic words here that I am penning, to bring fresh clarity and even joy. Becky’s spirit lives on – and she will be waiting to greet us on the other side. She ran the race, and ran it WELL. Her assignment now complete. For those of us still on the earth, there’s still a lot of living, and a lot of loving, in her memory to be done in the future. For now, though, I ‘mourn with those who mourn.’
“He has made everything beautiful in its time.” Eccles. 3: 11