We bought tickets.
Standard advice when you experience the death of an immediate family member goes something like this, “Go home, go back to work, and don’t make any major life decisions for at least a year.”
Given the difficulty of our daily life in Rwanda, the standard advice didn’t really apply to us. In many ways, we have been struggling the last couple of years, and Beatrix’s death has made it impossible for us to consider returning immediately.
And we don’t know what we might decide to do next, after this season of grieving.
However, there are some practicalities that need to be taken care of: we need to make provisions for our house to be empty and protected for a longer period, we need to make sure our dog is taken care of, and that the utility bills will get paid. We need to look at our ministry responsibilities and see what can be done. We have to sort through Beatrix’s stuff, and decide what we might want to keep, and what we might give away. (Most will probably go into the latter category, partly because I can’t imagine dressing another child in her clothes, for example, but also because I know all toys and clothes will go to children who really need them.)
We need to grieve with our community there. For many of them, Beatrix’s death won’t seem real until they see us without her. And for us, going back to the house where we spent most of her life…
I don’t want to do this, because I know that it will be unimaginably hard, but I know that at a certain point, the longer we put it off, the harder it will be. I want to have done it – but I can’t just arrive at that point without going through it.
We are so thankful that a friend (who is the one of the kindest, gentlest, most patient, & most capable women I know) is going to accompany us for the first couple of weeks to help support us. We arrive in Rwanda at the end of January, and will be there for about 2 months.
I’ll keep you posted as best I can on how that goes.