Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Mourn with those that mourn

It is an unfortunate characteristic of mine that I sometimes feel other people’s emotions on an abnormal level. While most people are sick of hearing about it, I cried last week when they officially closed the case on Natalee Holloway because I imagined what that must have felt like for her family. I obsessed for months during Elizabeth Smart’s disappearance and sobbed in gratitude the day she was found. I fantasized about tracking down a bully at the school who was being mean to my friend’s kid and cried myself to sleep for several nights in a row after learning about the violation of another’s. I have actually cried watching a guy in a wheelchair win a bunch of money on Wheel of Fortune because I imagined how it might help him with health bills. And don’t even get me started on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. [Before I continue, I really think I should get blogger points for admitting the Wheel of Fortune thing. Even though there’s no such thing as blogger points, I’m making them up right now. And I just earned, say, fifty.]

Today is going to be a very difficult day for some treasured family friends who are burying their one-week-old baby. My parents and brother’s family will surely attend the service, which will undoubtedly feature a mixture of grief over the loss and gratitude for support. I am hundreds of miles away feeling cramps in my chest and helpless to offer any real comfort. I’d love to be the one who writes just the perfect thing in a card that causes a blanket of peace to overwhelm them, but after watching my sister bury a child I recognize that those perfect words don’t really exist. Instead, the road to peace is long, arduous, and very personal, so I am wondering where I fit in. With words coming up short and attendance being impossible, it feels like the only remaining option is to sit here and invite feelings of remorse, hoping that doing so might take some of it away from them. I’m not sure it will work, but trying is all I’ve got. Hug your kids a little tighter today, will ya?


JustRandi said...

I'm so sorry. You're right. There are no perfect words. I still think the card is a good option, considering you can't be there.

And not to sound callous- but in addition to your 50 blogger points for Wheel of Fortune, I'm giving you another 50 for such an honest post.
Good one.

Anonymous said...

A friend of mine who lives down the street from me but is no longer in my ward, just buried their two month old a week ago. He was born with a disease that is is close to down's but babies are usually born dead or die right after they are born. I feel so bad for them. I sent them a card to let them know that we were thinking of them and praying for them. I think it is especially hard for the family after the funeral because you are just trying to get through that one day. There is so much support from friends and families on that day. But after the funeral everyone else goes on with thier lives and those families are stuck with the sadness. So I think you should send a card to let them know you are still supporting them and wishing them peace.


Cannons said...

Wow... I could never imagine how hard that would be. Life is truly a gift very day of it. Thanks for the reminder and hope you feel better soon. That's what we all love about you... you are one of the few people who genuinly care. A mixed blessing, right?!

(That's the most serious I have ever been w/ you yet!) Have a great day.

Kerri said...

There is nothing more heart wrenching than someone losing a child - whether they are infants or adults. It's not supposed to work that way and yet it does. And what can you say or do? Of course, we all know there is nothing but let them know we will listen. When a friend suddenly lost her husband a few years ago, people began telling her it was time to move on, but grief doesn't work that way. So you just be there for as long as they want to talk about their baby because they need to know that someone else hurts over it and it's okay for them to grieve for as long as they need to.

ginger said...

I know it is hard on you, but I for one am really grateful for your empathetic nature. I think that prayers are the best source of comfort for them and you. My heart goes out to them.
On a different/similar note, I am so sad that Heath Ledger died. What a waste.

Paige said...

Keep her in your prayers. Sometimes there's not much more we can do, even though we wish we could.

Brittany said...

My mom said that after my brother died, nobody knew what to say and so they said nothing. She didn't need words; she just wanted someone to cry with her. I'm sure they would appreciate hearing that your tears were added to theirs today.

Anonymous said...

Good Morning

I was at the service for Matthew last night and can say I did not bring enough tissue. Miles and Amy (father and mother) both spoke and it was incredible. The one scene that just touched my heart so deeply was Miles carrying the casket with his beautiful baby boy into the chapel and out again at the end. His arms enfolded that casket like he would never let him go. I imagined that Our Father in Heaven had his arms wrapped around Matthew exactly as Miles did and was telling him he was loved and would be with his family again. Thanks for sharing all your feelings. I cry in old movies too. Love you, Sarah

Lucas said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lucas said...

Your so called, "Unfortunate gift" is a sixth sense I know many wish they had. Including myself! I'm glad you've chosen to embrace it and use on a daily basis, including while watching the Tele. (I'm from England apparently)

Empathy has been a reoccurring theme for me lately. i think God is trying to tell me something. It's coming up EVERYWHERE...here's one more place I can't even get away from it. Thank you for the lesson. I hope your sister and the family can fight through this and find that peace and happiness that truly lies within everything good and bad. Everything Happy and Sad. (and now apparently my name is Dr. Seuss. I meant what I said, however.) =)

Nothin' but love,

Playful Professional said...

I'm with you. I almost cried in the grocery store when I heard the song Heath Ledger sang in 10 Things I Hate About You. Rachel told me about this baby on Tuesday and we had a long discussion about being grateful for and showing love to those around you before it's too late cause you never know what can happen. I told my husband I loved him multiple times yesterday.

Mad Madame Mim said...

I have the exact same "problem." It really is as if I'm feeling the exact same feelings as those who are suffering from it. It goes for physical pains too. I get severe sympathy pains. That's why I don't watch the news. It's good to know I"m not the only one.