Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Contrast of Sorrow

I was unprepared for the news as I came back to work yesterday, refreshed after a week of writing and spending time with my wonderful husband. A coworker's 29 year old daughter in law, 6 months pregnant, had passed away last week. Frozen in shock, to soon be replaced by utter sadness, I walked to my classroom, shaking my head in disbelief. How could this happen? This young couple were awaiting the birth of their first child. And now, the husband was suddenly a widower, losing his wife and his first child.
As I write now, I can feel the numbness invade my body. Thoughts freeze in my mind, as I try to pay respectful homage to this grieving family. What can I possibly do, or say, to support and ease the pain? I don't even know the family; I only know the woman who will be watching today, as her daughter in law and granddaughter are buried.
I suppose that all I can do is offer a loving, kind support as this coworker returns to school. I can gratefully embrace and cherish those I love and remind myself that there are no guarantees in this life. I know that I must take each day as an opportunity to spread light and love to those who cross my path. Life's sorrows can be immense and painful. There is no way to be open to joy, without also being open to sadness.

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