My room was dark at 9:15 last night. I was ready to be alone with my sadness at losing a friend and all the grief that it had stirred up from the past.
My middle child had gone to bed in a huff. She was probably thinking how mad she was and how mean everyone was and how unjust the world is.
Then she probably thought just about how unjust the world is.
Then she probably thought, I need mommy.
She bent over the bed for the hug and began to sob, so I pulled her in bed with me and held her quietly while she filled my pillowcase with those tears reserved for sadness. So big and full of grief that washes down the face.
I let her cry.
After a few minutes she caught her breath.
"It isn't fair that people can be fine and then be gone!" she shook out.
"No. It isn't."
"And it isn't fair for people to die after a long time being sick because they are so tired."
"That is true, too."
"It doesn't make sense. Anyone can die at any moment."
And there it was. What a lot of us have been thinking.
You can hear that tomorrow isn't promised and understand it, but you don't get it until you say "See you tomorrow," and that tomorrow doesn't come.
"Well, we can live our lives afraid of dying or afraid someone will die, but then we don't get to live our lives. We don't get any promises. Death is a part of our lives. And it is sad. It can be shocking which can take a lot longer to process. It can be time for someone to pass. It will always be sad. Sad also shows us what happiness is."
The tears quieted and soon I got a very wet kiss on the cheek. Her big sister came in for a hug, too, and then walked her little sister out of the room.
I know that this acute sadness will pass, eventually. I wear it in honor of someone who earned to be mourned so completely.