This week a friend from my hometown lost his six-year-old son in a horrific accident. This is the second time in just a few years that someone I've known for a long time has had to bury a very young son. Their families have been shattered by sudden tragedy. Dear God. My heart is broken and so full of pain for their loss.
I never know what are the words to say, what to write, what to hope, what to pray. I wish I knew that what I did say helped, or at least wasn't wrong. But these are incredibly selfish thoughts. This is basically hoping that I get some kind of pass, some kind of reassurance that I haven't failed at sympathy, when I should really be focusing all my thoughts and energy away from me and toward those in the proverbial eye of the storm.
I do wish there were anything that could be done or said to help ease the pain and the suffering, yet I know there is really nothing anyone can do. Their world will never be the same. They will learn how to go on living, but there is no "healing" or "getting through" and especially no "getting past."
Zeke, my friend's son, was riding his bike when he was killed. My son Luke, only a couple months older than Zeke, learned to ride his bike the same day Zeke was struck. As much as I want to be over the moon that Luke FINALLY did it on his own, my heart aches for my friend every time Luke rides his bike, or even mentions it. I'm constantly aware of the things I've been taking for granted that are going to be like salt in the wound for Zeke's family, as each thing happens without him and with a gaping absence instead -- the first day of the school year, folding laundry and finding some of his clothes, taking his a favorite cup out of the dishwasher, an empty seat at the table, an empty bed, a family vacation -- the infinite list of all the things that make family life, now heinously lopsided by the absence of an integral part.
I hate it. I. Hate. It. I won't even ask "why?" and I certainly won't attempt to paper over the pain with stupid and meaningless clichés. These are the times when life makes no sense.
P.S. If you are reading this, any thoughts and/or prayers for Zeke's family and everyone else involved or affected would be appreciated.