Wednesday, October 14, 2009

...and this is why none of my problems matter

I just got home from the store with Josie. We were buying a sympathy card for one her her classmates. The girl's father died from complications of pneumonia and swine flu after two weeks in the hospital. She was in school today, and will be going on the big 5th grade field trip tomorrow to DC, and then to her father's wake tomorrow night. She's 10, and has three brothers and sisters.

They don't even make sympathy cards for children. All the words are big and flowery, and don't mean anything to a child, or make any sense coming from one. We picked the simplest, plainest one we could find, about her being in our thoughts and the love of friends surround her in her time of sorrow, or something like that. I'm not positive what it said exactly because I was trying so hard not to cry, and I couldn't read all the words.

I don't know this girl, and Josie's close to her, but I thought it was important that she do *something*. DH nixed the idea of taking her to the wake; since I grew up with my grandmother, I went to lots and lots of wakes and funeral services, so it seemed natural to me that we would go to show support for her classmate, but he thought it would be too much. So, we went to the hugely inappropriate card section to look for words, when really there are none.

I can only imagine how stricken and devastated those children feel, not to mention their mother, suddenly a widow with four grieving children. The idea of not being here to see my kids grow up, and imagining them trying to cope after losing DH or I, makes me want to grab them and burrow deep into the blankets of our bed, where we would be safe, and warm, and blissfully, perfectly together.

So tomorrow night, send out special thoughts and love for A and her family, at the wake. I know how horrible and surreal it was to see my nephew in a coffin. I can't begin to imagine children seeing their father in one.

11 comments:

Not Your Aunt B said...

So horrible. My thoughts and prayers will be with Josie and her friend and her friend's family. No child should have to go through that.

d e v a n said...

:(

Swistle said...

One of Rob's classmates died a couple of years ago, and we had the same problem with the card section. He ended up making a card, which was...really hard to read, because kids tend to put stuff so directly, like, "I'm sorry she died."

ALW said...

I hate to butt into family stuff, but one of my peers died when I was 13, and the wake and funeral were very important parts of my moving through the terrible experience. IF you and your husband think it's appropriate, you might want to ask Josie if she wants to go to the wake/funeral. I know she's young, but she might feel better being involved and being supportive of her friend. What a tragedy for your community.

LoriD said...

That must be so hard for a child to understand. Heck, it's hard for me to understand how a young father can die from the flu. My thoughts are with A's family and yours.

Marie Green said...

Oh, that is really sad.

desperate housewife said...

Gosh, today is the day for me to be choking up about other people's tragedies. I was in the car today and randomly switched to a station right when this new Steven Curtis Chapman song came on- you know, the singer who's five year old daughter got accidentally backed over by an SUV driven by her brother? And the song was about how heaven to him now was just getting to see her smile again, and all the rest of the wonderful things that might be waiting didn't even matter compared to that. God it had me crying. I can't imagine how he himself got through singing it without breaking down. And now this story... There is too much pain in this world. Sigh. I'm so sorry for the family, and for Josie, having to process the idea that dads can die.

Hotch Potchery said...

That is just awful. I don't deal well with death and tend to avoid all wakes/funerals so I can just sit around all my life in denial.

I am 40 and have been to 2 funerals/memorial services. TWO. I don't know that I think it is important for her to go if the girls weren't close.

creative kerfuffle said...

it is so very hard to deal with things like that. the girl lost a classmate to cancer two years ago and last year her best friend's brother (16 yrs old) was killed in a car wreck. of course it's not the same as losing a parent. but you are right. there are no words and whatever OUR problems are---they are nothing compared to that. my thoughts go out to josie.

Stimey said...

So heartbreaking. I'm sorry.

Sue @ Laundry for Six said...

Oh my gosh that is so, so sad. I'm so sorry for Josie and her friend and her family. That is just too young to lose a parent.