Yesterday Barbara died. She was the mother of my friend, co-worker, and former roommate. It was a long battle for her daughter, my friend. We all have our hard times; this is hers. However, I find, once again, that another's loss awakens my own. Why did I pick up C.S. Lewis' A Grief Observed again two weeks ago? Why did I tell myself that the time to read this is when you are not grieving, because then you will be prepared for it.
My organized self wants a list, perhaps downloaded from some helpful website, instructing me on what to do. I know what to do when someone I love dies, but I'm not always sure what to do when someone I know loses a loved one. I find it funny that I want a list. It's that nervous agitation; the feeling that I have to be doing something in order to help. I have to have proof that I have helped. Proof that it's the right thing to do, when, in my own case, I clearly understand that there is no right or wrong when someone is grieving.
It is sympathy that makes me want to take food to her, help clean, discuss the scattering of ashes. But it is empathy that makes me, in the moment, brush the residue from my shoulder, so that I can do for her what so many did for me...just be there.
Causes Katherine McWilliams Supports
The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation jdrf.org Macula Vision Research Foundation mvrf.org Washington Office on Latin America wola.org/juarez