Five Stages

Recovery. Or denial. I'm not entirely sure which. I'm at that stage in the game though where everything feels normal. I don't know whether to attribute that to an acceptance of Sandy's passing, or to the fact that it just feels like shes gone to visit her family.
Something tells me it's the denial bit. I guess we won't know for a few days though, when school starts up again.
We cancelled classes for the week, and sent all the students home to their families.
Saturday morning, a little more than twelve hours after her death, we had Sandy's first funeral here at the church on campus. It was a somber event, but not nearly as horrible as the prior evening.
I suppose there is always a reason to keep optimistic. Maybe you don't agree, but I find that even the worst of events have a bright side of sorts. Besides the fact that Sandy had a beautiful life, and positively affected so many of ours, there was a concurrent event Friday night that was overlooked in the madness. One of our Egyptian staff, who has been pregnant, gave birth to a baby girl the same time Sandy died.
It is rather poetic.
So now, we have a beautiful new life to celebrate, at the leaving of another.
Although a trade is not preferred, I think this is possibly the best way her life could be remembered.
After her funeral on Saturday, all the Americans and myself went and laid out in the sun. The weather is starting to improve, and it was a beautiful day. Mtha, my favorite little three year old, came and played with us for a few hours. We ran around, climbed trees, picked papayas, and laughed. It is amazing how a lively child can completely improve your day.
There are three days of mourning after a death here, and for those three days friends and family gather in the home of the deceased to talk and pray. Today is the last day, and so we all stopped by the home to sit with her family. Mainly, that involved just sitting in silence because of the language barrier, but it was nice to see all the friends and family that traveled to be here for Sandy. She was well loved.

In about one hour from now, Mary, Sara, Phil, Austin, Jordan, Jeff and I are are leaving for a two day trip to upper Egypt (which is actually southern Egypt, but upper Nile). We are staying in Dhasa for a day and going to Luxor for a day, visiting students and their families. Hopefully this will help to continue to improve all of our moods before classes begin again next Monday.
In general though, I'm feeling hopeful. I've done a lot of thinking about Sandy's life and what her death means, and it has helped me to overcome my initial fear and grief at her loss. I greatly appreciate all your kind words and prayers.

On a side note, if you are interested in sending me a letter (I love snail mail!) we have a mailing address here in Egypt. Please refrain from mailing care packages, and I have to pay to pick those up and they can cost my entire monthly paycheck. If you are interested in sending me a care package, please contact my mother (Kairie Pierce) by email at kairie@comcast.net, and she can bring it with her on her trip to visit in three weeks. Otherwise, my mailing address is as follows:

Taylor Pierce
16 El Kobba Street
Heliopolis, Cairo, Egypt

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