Two years ago, Christine wrote a post in honor of what would have been Garrett's first birthday. It is to my great sorrow that I link it here and say: thank you for being there for me. I hope I can be there for you. I can't come today, but we're going to do something fun together this summer. We'll celebrate life and Xenia and Garrett who are waiting for us together in Heaven.
|Seriously, this was forever ago. Autumn didn't recognize me.|
To friends who have told me that they don't know what to say when bad things happen, well, even after all this time and all this writing, I still don't know what to say. Because I am me, I still talk, email and text, of course...
"I don't have anything except that I am so, so, so sorry and it breaks my heart that this is something you have to experience."
"I'm sure you know this but do me a favor and let yourself be mad if it comes to that. Because, yes, you're blessed and you have a great family and friends and blah blah blah but this still royally sucks no matter what the circumstances."
"Sometimes I hear people talk about their "blessings" and it's always something good and amazing. I told this story to the kickboxing class where I have to do a devotion--that sometimes I want to say I have a dead kid and yet I am blessed, too!! All that to say, call me anytime you need to say something irreverent because I still say things that freak people out so nothing shocks me."
But when it comes down to it, even though I've been there, done that, when someone loses a child I go into a panic. What do I say? What do I do? How often should I call?
I guess I, like mostly everyone else, try not to be a jerk and if I make a mistake or say the wrong thing, hope that the intention shines through the awkwardness. Fortunately, Christine and I generally understand each other after so much time. We've been through a lot together. I don't want to have this in common but at least I can be that person who understands the need to laugh at inappropriate times and who knows that you can't cry all day, everyday because, well, there is still life and love out there no matter what well meaning people mean to imply when they see you smile.
Sigh. By the way, at the risk of sounding like I made a loss all about me, I asked Christine if I could write about how blindsided and lost I was when I heard what happened. You might hear from Christine herself one of these days so I don't want to tell her story for her. Until then, please keep her family and friends in your prayers.