It was a beautiful, sad day today.
And it served as a reminder that sometimes there are no words that can adequately explain pain.
But this is not my story, just my brief experience as an outsider looking into the window of another family.
Brief as it was, it left a mark.
So I’ll explain.
It has been a rather humid summers week and we decided that we should take advantage of the weather and enjoy a family excursion to our lovely local beach.
Husband and I basked in the thrills of Master One and Miss Three frolicking on the ocean shore and collecting fish eggs and seashells for their sandcastle. When the kids started looking tired and requiring a pick me up we took them for a “special treat” – an icecream at a playground.
Since becoming a parent I’ve loved the socialisation that children gain within minutes at a park. Our bubbly Miss Three is quite the butterfly of playtime and is always quick to befriend other children and invite them to play games of hide and seek and pirates. Within seconds of arriving she was running around with young boy and a young girl, aged around three and five.
Whilst they were playing I noticed how sweet these children were to our Master One; inviting him in the cubby houses and even helping him up play equipment. Even though they could have been running off doing “bigger kid” activities they were very tender and kind to him.
I started chatting away to their Grandmother who was standing beside us and watching them play. And delightfully mentioned how inclusive her grandchildren were.
She then said something that floored me.
“It’s probably because they lost their baby brother at 7 weeks. He found him,” she said motioning towards the boy.
I was dumbfounded. My husband and I were shocked but managed to string a few petty and inadequate sentences together about how horrible that would be and the poor child.
But I couldn’t begin to imagine how a young boy would even begin processing that information.
I quietly stayed shattered on the inside at something so tragic. I’ve never liked the idea of crocodile tears as this was a family’s story I knew nothing about. But since becoming a parent my empathy meter has quadrupled and instantly my heart ached for this little boy finding his baby brother forever sleeping. I blinked a few tears away.
We continued chatting whilst the kids played together, ours, oblivious to such tragedy.
It seems nothing I could write could possibly explain the complexities of grief this family was experiencing. But without knowing what the Grandmother just told me, we would never have known.
I guess none of us ever really know what each other is experiencing.
As I write this a summer storm has just dramatically started.
I’ll hug my children extra hard tonight.
The anger ate away at a heart
and rusted a mind
an irritation like no other
a diseased all consuming world
that was born from hurt
the mirror unrecognisable
as scars clouded judgement
day and night blended together
life passed by without living
a walking graveyard of dreams
ripped from a hidden facade
hopes vanished in the night
a world perished without knowing why
and what was left
was a heart burning of pain
until all was lost but
anguish over a life gone
and the bitterness that stings
is that most of all
it was anger at the person in the mirror
who handed over trust so readily
with rational judgement screaming against it
there is no greater lament
than anger at oneself.
Hold my hand through pain
I am here through the journey
Through your eyes
I see your struggle
such a painted smile
with all it hides,
yet a disposition
a beautiful soul
all in dark nights.
Just to think of you
living with it all,
I think of
and sense through
and I am immensely
proud of how far you
and that I am
one of the lucky ones,
for knowing a soul;
with an ethereal gleam,
to have one such life
wound in my own,
I will always attest
makes me resoundingly,