By Haley Phillipps
Hello! I am Haley Phillipps, a Production Specialist at Weathered Raindrop. Being a part of a memorial business is something I never thought I would have the honor to be a part of, but I can truthfully say I would never trade it for anything. The amazing conversations I get to have and be involved in is truly a gift.
See, when I was 12 my older sister Lauren (14) was diagnosed with cancer. She was a joy, role model, and the oldest of 5 (6 in total). With 6 kids, daily treatments, tests, and living in Woodville WI, it was a lot to juggle just to get to the Minneapolis Children's Hospital and back to our house. Thankfully we go to church in Maplewood, MN so we had many caring friends who were more than happy to help us out with meals, sleeping arrangements, etc. It felt extremely crazy not seeing family for days and sleeping at other people’s homes during that summer.
June of 2018 is mostly a fog, our lives felt so turned upside down. But one very special memory I have is when we celebrated Laurens's 15th birthday (June 9th) in the hospital. Unfortunately, she was getting treatments that week, but it was a good day. Her and I took walks, talked and shopped online.
Towards the end of June things really started to get bad. After her second round of treatments, she got an infection and ended up in the ICU, fully sedated for 9 days until there was nothing else doctors could do for her. My siblings and I were able to say our goodbyes on June 25th, the day before God took her home.
In July we had a funeral and then a memorial service, which I'll admit were very difficult. So many people showed up to honor Lauren and support our family, which is truly something to be very thankful for.
I admit, these past years have been hard for me; she will never see me drive, go to college, get married, or meet my future kids. But, I want you to know that by Gods love and grace He has kept our family strong even though, this has been far from easy. I tell you all this from a high schoolers look on loss. Not enough people talk about how they feel, yes, I'm also guilty of it. Those who have lost family or friends and want to talk about it need to reach out and let others know that loss does not have to be a subject that is overlooked, silenced for fear of upsetting someone, or just thought about and not talked about. We need others to lift us up when things are hard. So don’t be afraid to ask those who've lost a loved one “How are you doing?” or “Can I talk with you or pray with you?” We mourn daily, and some days we just need a little more support to get through another day.