Today was very difficult for me. I didn’t think it was going to be, but it was. On Monday morning I got an email from my Mom saying my cousin, Tessa Teichert, took her own life. She was 26 years old and such a fun girl. I knew her best when we were little but they moved, we moved, we all grew up, they are ranchers and I became a city boy at age 16. So our paths diverged.
But we’ve always loved Tessa and her family. The are salt of the earth people and we’ve always enjoyed our interaction and friendship (her brother’s wife wrote a nice tribute to Tessa on their blog). Her viewing was last night (Friday) and her funeral today in Twin Falls, ID. I drove up last night with part of my family and we attended the viewing. It was odd seeing my cousin in a casket, but just surreal. I wasn’t overwhelmed with emotion or anything but simply felt bad. In fact, it was more a time to catch up with my large extended family. I enjoyed my visit with them and the time with my own family who traveled with me.
The next day was a different story. They held a second viewing Saturday morning before the services and there were lots of people there to support my cousin and her family. Right before the funeral started, all the family met together for a family prayer. That’s where it got tough for me. The thing that gets me isn’t that I lost a cousin we all liked; rather, I have a real hard time watching others suffer. And it was very difficult watching my aunt and uncle and 3 other cousins just break down and grieve the loss of their daughter and sister. Oh, and a husband she left behind that was absolutely torn apart. However, as this was all happening, I noticed a sign on the wall in the room where this was happening. It simply said, “Take my yoke upon you, for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:29-30). It helped me to put things in perspective a bit. The loss for the family is still great, but there is comfort to be gathered and burdens to be lifted.
I bawled like a baby.
The funeral was very nice. Two of Tessa’s brothers spoke and did an excellent job, and my sister sang a musical number and sounded great. It was a very touching funeral and I bawled like a baby. I was glad to be in Twin Falls for my cousins, but funerals for young people are very tough. Old people…well, they’re supposed to die. 26-year-old women aren’t supposed to end their own lives and leave their families behind wondering what happened, how they could have helped, and how to move on (there are two kids from that family currently on LDS missions, too).
Dang it, my eyes hurt. I need some sleep.