18. Being ThankfulJul 18, 2016
Alex here. Sometimes people surprise you with their kindness. Over the past few weeks, I have been blown away with the kindness of close friends and even a few people I have never met.
A few days before little V was removed from our home, Sarah and I were sent flowers from two of our friends. It was such a sweet gesture that told us they were thinking about us and sending us thoughts of love and care. They told us that they were thinking of us and knew that we could use a little pick me up!
Some of you may not know that I am a funeral director. Thursday evenings are my weekly night on-call. It is not uncommon that I am pulled away at the most inopportune times. Thursday, July 7th was our last night with V. Sarah picked him up from daycare and was getting him dinner ready and I was called away on a house call. It was in town and I was home fairly quickly but I ended up missing dinner, bath time, book time, and putting him to bed. I missed our last night with him. Why this is important? It is important because the family who I met that night knows Sarah. I did not know this at the time-neither did Sarah. Friday morning I meet with the husband and children who lost a loved one and I get ready for a service that afternoon. Just another day at the office. Later in the day Sarah tells me that she knows one of the daughter-in-laws of the family and they are sorry for V leaving. The daughter in law reached out to Sarah to share HER condolences on our loss, to tell Sarah how impressed she was that I came to the home when we were going through such a hard time our-self. It was a sweet message to hear on a very sad day. That a person that had never met me would show empathy and caring for us even when they were going through such a hard time themselves! Early the next week the husband and a daughter come in to drop off clothing and take care of some other things and the daughter says something that caught me off guard. “I am so sorry for your loss.” She doesn’t know me but clearly Sarah’s friend had talked to her about our situation and she felt compelled to share her condolences with us. Again, at a time when her world was falling apart. These words were the kindest thing a person could have said and they came from a woman who just lost her mother. A stranger for the most part. Only a few of my friends even acknowledged what we were going through and here was a stranger sharing in our pain.
I know better than most that people do not know what to say in a sad time; I see it every day. Loss and sadness have a way of distancing people. I would hope not intentionally but it seems if people don’t know what to do or say they don’t do or say anything. The simple kindness these people showed Sarah and I meant a lot to us. I did not realize until then that the absence of my own friends bothered me so much. Women I have as bridesmaids in our wedding didn’t even reach out. This may break my heart more than saying good bye to V that morning.
To the woman who said “I am so sorry for your loss” I thank you. Thank you for your kindness. Kindness in times of hardship change lives and help restore faith that there is good in the world. It is always nice to know people care.
Sarah here, I’m amazed at the people in my life. There were dozens of people from all over the world that reached out with kindness, support, and love when we went through losing little V. People I had never met but chat with about wedding and life things, new friends, and a few old friends. People that I haven’t talked to in YEARS (Alex’s story about the lady from her funeral) and people I talk to on a daily basis. I want to thank all of you. I’m not ashamed to admit that I fell into a depression when all this came to a head. The past few weeks I have found myself struggling to get out of bed in the morning and keeping myself from crawling back in mere minutes after getting up. Saying goodbye to a member of your family is hard. Fighting to keep them in your life is exhausting. Knowing that your integrity cost you your family member is the worst. If we hadn’t reported the incident we would not be in this situation. Knowing that tears me up inside. Why did we have to do the right thing?
Alex has been great. Just being there, giving me hugs, seeing through my fake smiles, holding me when it’s just too hard to do anything but lay on the couch and stare at the TV. She is great to me and I don’t know what I’d do without her, but all of you are fantastic too! All the Facebook messages, the text messages, the phone calls, the flowers, the emails. You have all been so great to me even though you have your own struggles, your own families and lives to care for.
I have cried so many tears over a big loss that happened due to our starting this journey. I lost my best friend. There was a lady that I was best friends with for the last 13 years. We started this journey and our friendship fell apart. Knowing that I can’t talk to her about what we are going through now makes me cry even harder.
But you know what, life goes on. Everyday is a new day. Everyday has something to be thankful for. Today, I am thankful for all of you. Everyone that reached out with support. Everyone that said a silent prayer for our family. Everyone that reminded us that there is greatness in this world and that we will be OK. Thank you. I just hope that when you go through hard times (or if you are right now) that you have people in your life that show you the level of support you showed us. That you matter.
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