Ready for volume two? Me neither. I spent the whole day digging up my favorite grief books and preparing a care package to send Victoria and her siblings. I couldn’t stop thinking about her story and all that she has had to go through in the last few weeks, what she will continue to go through for the rest of her life.
Yesterday evening, I got a phone call from my best friend, Rachel. I knew right away by the sound of her voice that something was wrong, and she began telling me the long story of how she and her husband have just suffered the loss of a dear friend—a true brother. These are some of the people I love most in the whole world, and I can do nothing to help them right now. The worst part about knowing the specific and unbearable pain that loss brings is the knowledge that I am helpless in these situations. This got me thinking about how many different ways there are to lose someone we love. So many different ways that we can be forever screwed-up by the experience.
I only know my own history—what it all felt like for me to lose the most important person in my life. And I would never in a million years try to speak to someone else’s experiences. Every person is different; every death is different. All I can do is offer my support and be willing to listen. I keep trying to think back on what was helpful when I first lost my father—what made me feel even the slightest bit better. And although everyone gave what parts of themselves they felt comfortable with, there was really only one thing that made any kind of difference at all: Hearing someone say, “I love you.” That’s it. That’s the only thing I could even absorb at that time.
So that’s all I’m going to do—keep telling this collection of people going through terrible times in their lives, that I love them. It’s all that matter in end anyway, isn’t it?