A person close to my family died on Wednesday. I cried when I heard, even though I wasn't particularly close to this man. I knew him and loved him in a familiar way. In a big-hug-kiss-his-cheek-when-I-saw-him way. He was at my wedding. I think I danced with him that night. He was important to me because he was married to a very important woman in my life and in the lives of many people I love. She threw my bridal shower. Came to my home and cooked dinner after Tilia was born. We worked at the same place for over a decade. I cried for her. For their kids. For how I have no idea what to say to her or how to help or what she would want or need in these horrible, long days.
It was early in the morning. My computer screen lit up with instant messages. Emails flew in. My cell phone buzzed. Texts. Send and receive. The circle of friends is making sure we have all been told. No one can believe it. Everyone is dazed. We type short messages back and forth and sit in shocked silence. The screens darken while we pause between thoughts. I hear back from my dear friend. I send flowers. I feel inadequate.
We circle the wagons around her and her kids. We talk about plans for next week and the week after when the fervor has settled and she will need us -- for what, nobody knows, but we know we need to be there. She knows we love her. She knows any and all of us would drop everything and come to her right this minute if she needs us. We will go to the funeral. We will go lay in bed with her and cry. We will do her bookkeeping. We will send a card because we live far away. These are the things we said we'd do.
I am so thankful for this beautifully strong and connected group of friends right now. I am so glad that, however thin, the string that connects us remains unbroken. We all feel this right now. We all ache for their family. We reach out to each other for comfort and to comfort. To share this sadness -- and we do and I hope that reaches our dear friend somehow and she can feel it and know we are all here loving her.