My friends, this will be the hardest post I've written here to date.
Over the weekend, one of the families in our small preschool community entered into the unspeakable horror of losing a child. I am somewhere between acquaintances and friends with this family, and my sorrow is unmeasurable. It cannot for one moment compare with the grief that his family is experiencing, and will be experiencing, for the foreseeable future.
Lee and I think that we know what it is like for people who are experiencing pain when it comes to their children. We know nothing.
Most of us know nothing.
We told Drew, because one of the child's siblings is in his class, and he is friends with her. We have not told him details, and we almost introduced to him in this conversation that some day during his life, it it likely that Connor will die and we will be the family people are reaching out to, offering help to, and sitting with and crying alongside. I just couldn't do it. He's not even seven. We held off. I hope it was the right decision.
Tomorrow, we will get up, and dressed, and go with the community to sit with the family as help them as they try to say good-bye to their baby. I will cry. I'm already well known for my crying, but it will be on a whole different plane. I feel like my crying is a selfish thing. What right do I have to be sad? Week after week, I write here and make other people sad as an exercise in therapy - that in itself is an inherently selfish thing. Me me me me me. And then, I get the most wondrous, supportive messages from you all, and it makes me feel so much less alone, even surrounded by the millions of people we have here in Northern Virginia.
So thank you for being my therapists, and listening, and asking when asking needs to be done. Thanks for loving my sons when I write about them, and laughing at the funny things and holding my hands through the tough things.
I am open to each of you, and if something happens, my hand is here to hold yours for as long as you need it.