Regretfully, I find myself in a similar position as January 2011 – standing sentinel for a dear friend burying a spouse. Though both experiences involve the loss of a beloved, the two situations are as different as night and day – one, an expected and somewhat welcomed passing after an exhausting battle with cancer. The other, a horrific auto accident filled with so much, too much, wrong place/wrong time.
I promise you, I thoroughly understand the luxury of being mostly on the outside looking in. My worries involve receiving flowers and giving hugs and handing out nourishment. My frustrations consist only of how worthless my hands are in that they cannot lay upon my friend’s heart and lift the burden, cannot shove away the weight of the world that is bearing down upon her shoulders. So instead, I use them to pack away her Christmas decorations. No one wants to look at that stuff after the season even under the best of circumstances. How she didn’t take a golf club to the tree before it could be brought down humanely escapes me.
I also work to be invisible. Mute, blind, deaf by choice. A throwback to the respectful child who speaks only when spoken to. We all know words cannot fix a damn thing. Especially the words of someone who may leave the madness for a few hours.
If I’ve learned anything over this past year of loss, it’s that grief is as unique as a fingerprint. And that nothing breaks my heart more than the site of an older father mourning the death of his grown child. Their stillness is unbearable.
I too grieve, for the man whom I once cherished as a friend, for what could’ve been, for frankly, what should’ve been. Mine is a single teardrop in the ocean of sorrow though.
Therefore, I’ll save my crying for the closet. I’ll then dig out that stupid black dress found at the last minute last year and take my place in the all-too-familiar parade.
They’re calling for rain.
I pray the clouds part.
(I’ve turned off the comments for a couple of reasons: 1) I honestly don’t know when I’ll be back, and 2) this is not my story. I’m only bearing witness to things I wish I never had to.)