Category Archives: Alese Coco

A Grief Revisited…

This has been a tough couple of weeks emotionally. May 7th marked the day 4 years ago that my dear friend Alese Coco was ushered into the loving arms of Jesus. The next day was the 3rd Mother’s Day my Sister and I have been without my Mom. This week a dear friend saw his wife ushered into the loving arms of Jesus and on the same evening a gal I knew from The Master’s College was also ushered into the loving arms of Jesus. To top it all off tomorrow will mark 21 years since my Step-Grandfather (PaPa) dropped dead of a heart attack and went home to be with His Saviour and Hero. Around the corner is June when my Mom was ushered into those same Arms of Love.

Grief has has paid an unwelcome and unexpected visit…

These past few years May, June and July have been tough months but going forward it seems they will be tougher. The grief that has now visited the lives of others in close proximity to me is the same grief that I thought I had won over and my heart is heavy.

My heart is heavy because grief steals and shakes your confidence. My heart is heavy because grief is long lasting and ironically never truly dies. My heart is heavy because it doesn’t take much to remember the grief that stopped my life for a time and now it has stopped the lives of others whom I love and care about. The stabbing sensation just above your stomach and below your chest that produces sobs of anguish and emotional upheaval has now made it’s entrance into the hearts of dear friends and I hurt for them.

Thankfully God has constantly reminded me that Jesus wasn’t immune from grief and sorrow. Isaiah 53:3 says, “He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.” (ESV emphasis mine). When Lazarus died Jesus wept. The Garden of Gethsemane was no picnic either. Jesus literally bled with grief and sorrow that night. I take comfort in the fact that our Saviour and the one who set the example for us in this race that we call life, did not ignore His grief, condemn His grief or live for His grief.

What a loving and gracious God to send us His Son to set the example that grief is okay and is a part of life here on this broken, messy and jacked up earth. God could have said grief was a sin and then where would be? Instead, He allowed Lazarus to die in order to bring glory to Himself through His Son Jesus’s grief.

I can rest in Jesus, trust Jesus, love Jesus and serve Jesus during my grief knowing that “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:21 ESV) and knowing that The Father and the Son both grieved over that event.

3 Years Of Worship

Three years ago today I wept uncontrollably when I learned that my Beloved Sister In Christ Alese Coco had been ushered into the presence of Jesus. She was and is an inspiration to everyone that learns her story. Alese and I were very good friends and while I miss our crazy adventures together, our mutual love for TV Shows (She would have LOOOVED Glee!) and our tendency to not let others in on our inside joke, what I miss most is our conversations about the Lord, and who He was in our life. I’ll miss the times when we’d play and sing a worship song over and over again (much to the annoyance of others) because it gave us a chance to sing about our Savior for a little bit longer before it was time to go home. And even though I wish we’d had a chance to sing a little longer before she went home to be with Jesus, I am (as usual) jealous of her present relationship with the Lord. Right now she (along with my Mom) gets to sing and dance in the very presence of Jesus and there will be no end… because she is home. She is safe… she is comforted and most of all she is at rest in Him.

Alese Coco – 731 Days And Counting

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Often times, it’s hard to imaging life without someone that is right next to you. But almost 3 years ago I did, and the emptiness that I felt was crushing. I was with my dear friend, Alese Coco. We had been talking about the latest challenges she faced with her treatment for Hodgkin’s Disease. Alese had already endured so much but was still as feisty and as funny as ever. “If you see a nurse walking by with a needle that has something in it, chances are it’s for me!” she said jokingly about her recent stay in a hospital. I laughed with her and was instantly hit by just how much Alese had changed my life.

When my Mom had fist been diagnosed with Stage IV Ovarian Cancer I hated hospitals and had not desire to joke about them, or their doctors or their nurses or their needles. And yet Alese, who had seen more doctor’s, nurses and needles than most of us would see in two lifetimes, still could joke about them. Alese had a strange and puzzling peace about them all… it certainly exceeded my understanding… even when she died 2 years ago today.

There was no fight that Alese did not think she could win, there was no obstacle that she did not think she could overcome, there was no “setback” that could set her back and it was all because there was no one she trusted more that Jesus Christ. I miss her a lot, and I’m glad that she and my Mom get to spend time with Jesus and with each other. In fact, I’m envious… that during the 731 days we’ve spent without Alese, she has been spending time with Jesus.

Pray for the Coco family and when you get a chance check out Fight2Win.org and learn how Alese’s story and faith is the driving force behind an organization that is committed to achieve a 100% cure rate for all patients diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

Fight 2 Win

Today I am flooded with all kinds of emotions.

I finished my last final this morning around 8:30am. Instead of celebrating with my friends, I packed most of my stuff in my car and drove 50 miles south to Green Hills Cemetery to be with the friends and family of my dear friend Alese Coco. Today marks one year since she passed away from complications due to Hodgkin’s Disease.

I am still bothered by the fact that she was so young, had so much that she could have done, and yet people tell me that “God chose” to take her home to be with Him instead. Right now, I think that was pretty selfish of Him.

I wanted to have more time with Alese. I wanted to sit in front of the TV with Alese and imitate our favorite characters. I wanted to go to a restaurant and instead of waiting 2 hours like everyone else, waiting 2 minutes while Alese sweet talked her way to the best seat in the house. I wanted to have another laugh-so-hard-you-cry moment with Alese as we both made disparaging comments about each other’s style of clothing at almost the exact same time. There were many more moments that I wanted to have with this girl who made me feel like I was her big brother and she was my little sister.

Which is something that haunts me all the time. You see Alese and my sister were born the same year just a few weeks apart. It’s hard to think about Alese because I realize that it was only by “God’s sovereignty” that it is Alese instead of my sister in the grave. That could have been me and my family out there today, marking one year since we lost someone we love. In fact, with the way things are going with my Mom’s condition, it may be us standing by the grave of a loved one sooner then we’d like. It may be us, listening as a Pastor preaches on the “storms of life” and insists that there is a moment when “the sun bursts through the clouds” and there is a happy ending. It may be us listening to the sound of worship songs being sung through tears of sorrow and pain. It may be us that look toward heaven and ask, why couldn’t we have had one more day, one more month, one more year… one more lifetime.

Today has been another hard day, and right now, I’m not sure why I’m gonna get up tomorrow.

But I will get up tomorrow. And I’ll hug and kiss my Mom. And I will will do everything in my power to stand beside her and help her Fight2Win. From here on out, it may be the only thing that keeps me going.

Links:

AleseCoco.org (Alese’s homepage and journal)

Fight2Win.org (launched today in order to fund a cure to fight and win the battle against Hodgkin’s Disease)

DeborahAmes.org (my Mom’s homepage and journal)

6 Months And It’s Still Not Easy…

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It’s been 6 months to the day since my dear friend Alese Coco passed away from Cancer. There are still times when I reach for my phone to send her a text message but realize there’s no point. Perhaps hardest of all is when I interact with her family and realize they are hurting much more than me. God used her in a mighty and spectacular way when she was here on this earth. What is most astonishing is that in some ways God is still using her story to touch other people’s lives. I miss her, but I look forward to the day that we meet again in heaven.