This weekend we attended the memorial service of a sweet four year old little girl, who died tragically in her home on Thursday. Vienne Juliet. The daughter of our friend's Mark and Jenny.
I will admit to not knowing Vienne well. Mark is my friend from college (well elementary school really, but that's another story). They live in Oregon and we see them once a year or so. Jenny and I became facebook "friends". I do believe, this is one instance, where facebook really has made me feel closer to someone. I loved watching her little girl grow up via photo and snippets of insight into her enchanting personality. Jenny is a devoted mom, who just adores her daughters (she also has a 9 month old, Ivy). You can tell through how she talks about them that she works hard to be the mom God wants her to be. I love following her journey of motherhood and admire her.
Thursday night scrolling through facebook, I read the post about Vienne's sudden death and my heart began an ache. It has yet to subside. Was it a cruel hoax? Did someone hack their accounts? It didn't seem real. It didn't seem right. And yet I went back to check again and again, thinking... maybe it'd be gone. It wasn't.
Shawn and I were just about to sit down and finish the details of Gavin's 6 year old birthday party the next day and I just sat there with the favors and crafts in front of me, sick to my stomach. Neither of us knew what to do or say. We mechanically finished our party prep and went to bed quietly numb. The whole week has felt that way, slightly numb.
As I mentioned, I have only intereacted with little Vienne a few times. I remember meeting her as a newborn. She was about the same age as Brayden and so very tiny. I loved it. Just a little thing. It was fun that they were the same age and so cute together. I also remember last summer, pulling up to the Piscitelli's house and seeing Vienne peek out from behind her dad's leg. She was still tiny, but so fun and sweet and had a wonderful sparkle in her eye. She had done something, I can't remember, but I know it wasn't any big deal and her mom told her she had to sit at the top of the stairs and she could come down when she was ready. Awhile later, we realized she never came back down and she had thought she had to stay there and had done so quietly, even though she thought she'd miss out on playing with her friends. So sweet and genuinely good.
I loved seeing the fun posts her mom put up, excited to see her grow up, until we could see her again. I loved each time we got to see her in person. Interacting with the little person we saw smile back at us from the computer and getting the opportunity to witness first hand the individual her mommy wrote about and posted pictures of.
To believe she is gone from this life is hard to swallow. It's not natural. It's not the order of things. Even after attending the beautiful memorial put on for her, I still cannot believe the next time we visit, she won't be there behind her dad's leg, just a little taller.
Vienne had many people attend her memorial. I was so amazed at all those she touched in what, in my opinion, was too short a time down here. I probably shouldn't have been, she was just an amazing little girl! I am grateful to have known her...I am grateful her parents shared so much about her. I am grateful I can tell the story of a four year old little girl who impacted so many lives for the better...for Jesus. I only hope my life can do the same!