I'm reeling a little. I'm just continually stunned by what some people have to deal with in life and by the unfairness of it all. It feels like sorrow and struggle is all around me and I just never expected THIS to be what life would be like as an adult. I guess it's the dirty little secret grown-ups spare you when you're little.
Life can be so hard.
There's my friend S whose beautiful baby boy Ryan died just over a month ago, there's A across the street who, from what we gather, is now hospitalized with her cancer, there's M and J who are both separating from their husbands and there's S who is on a kidney transplant list. And then, of course, there are the hundreds of stories about infant loss I've read online and in my bereavement literature. Hundreds.
There shouldn't be THIS much pain in my small circle of friends and acquaintances. It's just not right.
And, damn it, I don't have a magic wand and I can't make any of this go away no matter how hard I try. I know from experience that the responsibility to mend lies within. And that's the hardest part of all, mustering up the courage to heal. But at least I can be there and I listen. I can do that.
Having friends who cared and who prayed for me (and who still continue to pray) helped me more than anyone knows, so I'm hoping that now I can return that favour. I have miles to go with my own mending, but I feel strong enough to lend support to those now following behind me.
Grief is a wonderful teacher. Not only does it teach you how strong you are, but it teaches you how much other people contributed to that strength - and how much they care.
I can't waste that lesson that Thomas has helped teach me. So S, M, J and S, I'm always here. You've helped me more than you know, and it's time I returned the favour.