This past week has been a difficult week. Several friends have endured pain, suffering, heartbreak, and tragedy. My best friend lost her mother this week and I have no words for her. I do not know what to say to comfort her, to help her mourn and heal. Telling her that it’s going to be okay seems less than sufficient. “I love you” and “I’m here for you,” is all I can bear to mutter. Being more than 400 miles away makes a hug impossible and I cry for her because, despite hoping for a recovery and preparing for her passing, her mom is gone – and we all need our moms.
And then selfishly, I consider my own mother. How I would miss her. How much I imagine my friend misses her mom and all the things she won’t be able to experience with her daughter. And again, words leave me and I have no words of comfort for my friend.
The death of a loved one is always sad, not because they have died – for they are in a better place, but because we will miss them. Our hearts have a whole just their size and we will miss them immensely. Our lives have faded a little bit now that they have left and we are here, left to move forward.
Some people more easily detach and move forward with an almost apathetic view on death. Others stay in the mourning stage the rest of their lives, never quite able to move beyond the sadness. For me and most people we are somewhere in between. We mourn, and then in the weeks after begin to cry a little less, find ourselves smiling and then try to cover it up because it seems inappropriate, and eventually, life has moved on with only our memories that keep them alive. However we mourn, it is imperative for us to remember them, but to pursue happiness, love, and hope once more.
Death is so final. And yet, freedom for so many. Experiencing loss is more difficult for those that remain behind than it is for the one that leaves. It is a reminder of our own mortality and what the culmination of our life will lead to. It is true what they say: “The only two certainties in life are death and taxes.”
What can we do for those like my best friend? Be there. Words aren’t always necessary and sometimes too much. A hug, a meal, helping to go through the possessions of loved ones. They may say they are okay, that they don’t need anything. That’s not true – they need you.