|Image from here|
On the first occasion that we met up after it had happened, many months had passed. Maybe even years. I remember that I smiled knowingly at her, showed my sorrow with a look of longing as our eyes met for slightly too long and I ignored the 'elephant in the room'.
"Surely she doesn't want me to bring it up?" I thought.
It never sat well with me. The fact that I had never acknowledged her loss properly. Had never offered my condolences. Had never offered to share some of her pain.
Life went on.
I had the joy of spending some time with her over the weekend. I was overwhelmed with this amazing woman. She is so brave and so very, very strong. She has seen the worst that life can throw at you. And survived.
We talked together. About her daughter. About her loss. About her grief. And about her healing.
I was mesmerised by her story, the re-learning she underwent to carry on and her ability to cope.
She is the mother of four children, but she is left mothering only three of them. There will always be a gaping hole in her family and in her heart, but she still finds the happiness in life. The joy in living. The strength to carry on.
I don't know if I could survive the loss of one of my children. I really don't. I sincerely hope I never have to find out. No parent should have to go through that heartache.
Tonight my thoughts are with those of you who have had to endure the death of a child. I hope that you too find the joy in life again, as my friend's friend has. She makes me feel that it must be possible to go on in life when you think you cannot and hopefully her story offers comfort to someone else.