A friend of mine has suffered an unspeakable loss. I’ve been reeling since I heard the terrible news last night. An unexpected tragedy suffered by someone I like and respect has rudely interrupted my vacation, shattering the peace and tranquility of time spent at the shore.
My heart is heavy as my friend joins a club for which no one wants a membership. I’m instantly transported, despite my best efforts against it, to the time of my mom’s death, and all the sadness and grief that entails. Nearly 8 years later, I’m instantly transported back to the worst time of my life, via a friend’s shared loss of her beloved family member. While I can’t fathom her exact experience, I know enough to know that her heart will never again be whole, her life will never be the same.
I draw much comfort from quotes. The words of those more eloquent than myself soothe and calm me during tragedy. A couple come to mind as I walk silently behind my friend in her grief. A few steps removed, trailing her with flowers and cards and support and whispered words for the inevitable falter in her step as she attempts to move forward toward a life wildly shaken.
“Grief is the price we pay for love.” — Queen Elizabeth II
“Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.” — Khalil Gibran
While we can never understand why such tragedies strike, I do know one thing: I agree with Queen Elizabeth and Khalil Gibran on both counts. However, I wish more than anything that my sweet friend did not have to pay the price or become a strong soul in such a terrible way.