**This post took me over a week to write. It’s not as timely as I had planned, but I needed it out of my head.**
Have you ever had one of those times in your life when you felt like everyone around you was in pain or suffering loss and you just couldn’t make it better? When your heart just hurt for your friends? I’m there. It seems like lately everyone we know is suffering somehow – either the death of a loved one or a life-changing diagnosis, or some manner of bad news.
My great uncle, Joe, passed away a week and a half ago. He had suffered for a long time with Parkinson’s. Seeing this sweet, proud man unable to walk or care for himself or eventually even talk was devastating. It had to be harder for him to be trapped than it was for us to watch it. While his passing was a relief for him, I’m so sad for my Aunt Rachel who loved him dearly, and for his 4 kids and 6 grandchildren. Because of the age ranges in my family, my aunt was drastically younger than my grandfather (her brother ) so my dad’s cousins seem more like my own. Uncle Joe and Aunt Rachel are some of my favorite people in the world, and seeing my sweet aunt looking like a tiny, elderly widow was the last thing I expected. Seeing my cousins cry broke my heart. Even more was looking around at the various cousins (and my brother) acting as pall bearers and the aunts and uncles gathered at the cemetery and knowing that one day I’ll likely mourn them as well was overwhelming. Having a very big family is awesome, but also kind of sucks sometimes.
Three days after Uncle Joe’s passing, some friends’ grandmother died. She was 103, and was the sweetest lady you’d ever want to know. When I married Brian I was welcomed into a great family, and I also inherited wonderful friends. But being down here while they were all in Pburg was very hard. We wanted to be there for Ms. McGee and Ford, and for their mom. While their grandma lived a wonderfully full life, it’s never long enough. Even after a century.
A couple days later, one of my father’s friends passed away after a very brief struggle with pancreatic cancer. It just brought back so many memories of my Uncle Carroll’s passing in 2009 that I think we all sort of shuttered ourselves to it in order to keep from sobbing.
Several elderly friends of my family have fallen in the past two weeks, breaking frail bones and leading to brain bleeds and the need for nursing care. We’ve received more bad news in the past two months than I ever want to hear in one fell swoop. On top of it, some of the most important people in my life faced a holiday without loved ones for the first time since their passing, and I remember that feeling.
None of this has touched our immediate family as close as it unfortunately could have, thank God, but our hearts have been grieving for friends and family over the past few weeks. This can be an incredibly difficult time for people, and I just hope we can all keep our friends covered in prayer and walk with them through whatever storm is raging.