I believe that everything happens for a reason.

Jennifer - Oshkosh, Wisconsin
Entered on March 16, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: death, family, purpose
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I believe everything happens for a reason. My sister, Sarah, and I were really close to my aunt Lynn. My aunt Lynn was the oldest girl on my mom’s side of the family. Sarah and I would hang out with my aunt often because her two kids graduated, moved out of the house, and started their own lives.

When her kids moved out, she felt very lonely and bought a dog. She got a sheltie and named her Sierra. She was the runt of her litter. Sierra was Lynn’s baby and went everywhere that she went.

On the weekends that I wouldn’t be visiting my dad, I would be with Lynn. I would sleep over there often to keep her and Sierra company when my uncle Rick would be working late so she wasn’t as lonely. I loved going to her house for the fact that my mom wouldn’t let us own a pet. The only pet that I owned was goldfish that I would win at the fair and they wouldn’t last long. My mom just didn’t see the point in owning a pet if I was not going to be home all day long. From being with Lynn so much, I also became attached to Sierra.

In January, of 2003, something unexpected happened. It was after school and I was at musical practice. Everything was going fine, until my mom’s friend Kris came into the auditorium. She talked to my choir teacher to let him know what was going on. I had a very confused look on my face. She looked at me and said, “Come with me.”

I followed her out of the auditorium and standing in front of me was my sister in tears. At that moment I got the news that my aunt Lynn had passed away. I didn’t want to believe it, but as I heard those words come out of her mouth, my heart stopped as I fell to the ground. I was in such shock because she was only forty-eight, and, from what I thought, was healthy. I didn’t find out till after the CT Scan that she had died from hypertensive cardiovascular disease.

After the funeral, when trying to figure everything out, all we could think about was, “what would happen to Sierra?” Rick, Lynn’s husband, hated Sierra and didn’t want her. Lynn’s daughter was a drunk and her son moved away with his wife and wanted nothing to do with her.

All my sister and I could think about was Sierra and how close we had become to her. We asked our mom if we could have her. Thankfully, my mom made an exception to her no pets rule.

At this point, I feel a need to address the amount of grief I, and my whole family, was experiencing at the sudden loss of such a beloved figure. The only thing that kept me from breaking apart for most of the nights was Sierra. I firmly believe that Sierra entered our lives because Lynn was leaving. Sierra comforted us from our anguish, and led us slowly down the path to acceptance and recovery. Four years later, when Sierra joined Aunt Lynn, I experienced the grief I did not experience when Lynn died. Instead of the world of grief, I realized the purpose she had in my life and that everything, no matter what it is, happens for a reason.