Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Hold your children a little longer today

A terrible, tragic accident occurred in our neighborhood this past week that claimed the life of a 7-year old girl.  I didn't know the family, but it has touched the lives of some of our friends.  Her family attends the church where Sophie's pre-school is held.  I've seen the makeshift memorial of balloons, teddy bears and flowers at the street corner grow the past few days.  I felt sympathetic and saddened for the family and those involved.  I've prayed for this family.  It is heart breaking to lose a loved one, especially one so young.  I could not imagine the pain the family must be feeling.

This morning as I pulled up to drop off Sophie for school I saw people preparing for the funeral of that little girl.  Flowers being carried inside.  Men in suits and long black coats milling about outside, directing traffic.  People bringing in food.  I took Sophie inside and watched from the upstairs window of the church as the hearse pulled up and they slid that small white coffin draped with beautiful, perfect pink flowers out of the hearse and into the chapel.  I said a silent, pleading, desperate prayer for that family right at that moment.  And suddenly I couldn't bear the thought of losing a child so young.  My heart ached for that family.  I gave Sophie a tearful hug and kiss goodbye and drove back home, sobbing.  Full on sobbing with not a tissue within reach of the driver's seat.  I was a mess.  I no longer felt sympathy for that family--this loss could have been my own.

I had always thought I was an empathetic person, but, honestly, I have never been affected by the happenings in the lives of others as I was this morning.  And they are strangers to me.  I really don't know what to make of my experience.  Maybe I've learned something, grown up a little.  I don't know.  Maybe it's because I'm a mom with young children myself.  All I know is that I had to write down my experience.  Maybe now I'll feel the sadness of others as my own.  Or truly feel the joy of others in their celebrations.  But I'll definitely hold my children a little closer and little longer today.


Kimberly said...

That made me cry. Thank you for sharing it, though.

Arlene said...

It seems harder for me when they are young. Breaks my heart. Thanks for sharing. Empathy is very powerful.