Around and Back Again – The Circle of Life

I HAVEN’T POSTED IN TWO WEEKS. If you’ve been following my blog lately you’ve noticed I’ve been writing about twice a week. No, I did NOT go into labor. I was worried I might but alas, mystery baby still remains safe and sound inside it’s water world as I type.

To explain the hiatus, let me back track to the beginning of this month. The truth is, I’m not sure how far to go back. In moments like these my very female brain turns to real live spaghetti and everything connects and bends together. But, I will try to be mature and sort through this like an adult who has the ability to think clearly and concisely. Yes, t-r-y.

October 2, I’ll start there. We celebrated our 5th anniversary and had an opportunity to get away for the weekend to Weird Austin (as the locals say, Keep Austin weird!). I had a post all written and ready to publish – just needed to dig up a photo for it. (Now all my photos are from our iPhones and it makes posting so much easier and faster.) In fact it was on our trip down to Houston the following Wednesday after we got back that I had mentally planned to finish and publish but our drive down provided no means for that measure.

Because by then, it had already started.

If you follow my instagram you may have noticed this picture I posted Thursday from the ICU hallway leading to his bedroom and this caption below it :


“Hospitals can be a place where life starts, where life is rescued and healed and also a place where life ends.

It’s been a difficult journey walking beside my husband’s brother and wife and family as they prepare to say good-bye to their husband and father. We are grateful for all the time we did have together thanks to chemo and stem cells and prayers and everything else that prolonged his life. But that why question is the hardest thing to deal with. Life is not fair or a respecter of persons.”

It’s not fair that one couple celebrates one more year of togetherness while another couple stands on the edge of separation. It’s not fair that one couple eagerly awaits the arrival of another life to add to their family while another says good-bye to a life so dearly cherished and needed.

“He could live up to a week,” the doctors said, but we had a feeling it wouldn’t be that long at all. Everyone had their rounds of tears, trying to communicate, some even attempted a hand squeeze or a hug. Of course the family got all they could get.

These were sacred moments. He fought hard but in the end after a two-year battle and after two stem cell transplants, the leukemia in Jason’s brother Tim’s body was just stronger.



He died October 8th around 1pm. Tim proceeded Jason’s mom’s passing four and a half years later. God’s timing of when He chooses to take a life from this earth is hard to understand, especially in the Friesen family it seems to me. We weren’t ready to let his mom go (freshly married 7 short months) and we for sure were not ready to let his brother at age 50 go with four boys ages 12-22.

Norma, Tim’s wife has been a warrior through this whole ordeal; in all the preparing, greeting family as they came, the endured viewing and the funeral. I’m sure there will be long dark nights ahead and days of loneliness and sorrow. I’m sure there will be more tears and more lamenting and emotion filled prayers. I’m sure we as a family will not do things right, say the right things or care enough.

I am also sure we all will do our best to be considerate and loving and respectful. We will try to be there for her and the boys in ways we think are helpful. We will try to support and communicate and be as sensitive as best as we know how. Because we lost Tim too.


So, since I last posted, a lot of water has crossed under the bridge.

Or is the bridge even still there I wonder? If feels more like it’s been ripped apart and only a small faction remains, like a raft and we are huddled together on it for dear life wondering when the next tragedy will strike as we swirl around in the mad current underneath us. I’ve never thought more about my parents passing someday or my husbands or any other close person so much before. But I can’t live like that…

Life is a gift to enjoy while it is today.

Yes, as we huddle close on this raft we feel the moment of another life making threats to come join us soon. This new unknown life is nearing our hands and hearts to hold. This new life stretches and pokes, full of energy and vitality one so sick could no longer possess.

And now we’ve come full circle. The sun sets and we say good-bye to cold worn, weathered hands. Tomorrow another day dawns and we say hello to tiny pink hands, so soft and new that grips our finger. It’s the circle of life.


8 thoughts on “Around and Back Again – The Circle of Life

  1. Your last paragraph sums it up so well for all of us Jolynn. I bet your sister-in-law & her sons are grateful that something good is coming they can rejoice in with you. Life is filled with so much pain & yet so much joy, too!


  2. Wow, Jolynn. Your words grabbed my heart, especially at the end. I think it is special that this small community gets to experience a birth as well as a loss; from a distanced perspective, it’s interesting how both events are full of joy and pain in their own ways. And each event, ultimately beautiful in their humanity and in the promise of something new. My thoughts are with you in these last, expectant days—I’m sure they get long in the waiting. ❤


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