Fragile World


This week, a dear friend had a hole ripped in her heart when she had to say a final good-bye to her Mama.

Too early. Too young. Too fast.

She still needs her Mama. Her story wasn’t supposed to go this way. The world doesn’t need another motherless daughter.

The un-politically correct words play on repeat in my mind. .  .It’s not fair. Not fair. Not fair. 

Naive, I know. Too simple, I know. I’ve lived enough life to know that all stories don’t end like fairy tales, and, sometimes, the most beautiful stories are intertwined with the most horrific tragedies.

I understand that just as the sun shines on us all, so also does the rain pour.

As I’ve walked along side my friend this week, it has been impossible not to relive, remember, and retrace those early days after learning that my own mom was gone.

Almost seven years have passed but the feelings are still so close.

I’ve thought a lot this week about the girl who stood behind the counter at the CVS store in my hometown. It was the middle of the afternoon and the sun was high in the sky and my sister and I stood in the store holding pictures of my Mom to be printed for her calling hours. I remember standing across the counter from the young woman, who had no idea what the pictures were for, and wondering how she could just be standing there, in a pharmacy, as if the entire world hadn’t shifted. I only half listened to her as she pointed us to a machine just a few feet away and marveled at the fact that she was talking about such a ridiculous thing as a printer when, it seemed to me, the world had changed forever. I stood next to my younger sister, who is far more mature than me, and was amazed at her ability to maintain composure because all I wanted to do was scream at the top of my lungs MY MOM JUST DIED. . . HOW ARE YOU WORKING??? DON’T YOU UNDERSTAND? MY MOM IS GONE!?

I nearly had to bite my tongue to keep from making a spectacle.

Still today, I remember what it felt like to walk out of CVS and see cars driving by just like nothing had happened at all.
My mom just died and people were filling their gas tanks.
I will never have a mom again and people were getting cones from Dairy Queen.
My world had stopped and, for everyone else, life went on.

I remember feeling like it was a cruel joke.
Surreal.
Like a dream. A very bad dream.

I know that the world doesn’t stop when someone experiences tragedy. (Though, out of respect, sometimes I wish it could.) When the world stops for one, it doesn’t stop for all. That would be supreme naivete.

Still, this week I was reminded of how fragile the world, and people really are. I was reminded that we never really know what is going on in another person’s life. This week I was reminded that my best day is often someone else’s worst.  This week, I felt the weight of what it is to be human and how while I may be able to do nothing else, I can be gentle with the fragile human soul.

I never knew emptiness could weigh so much, she said.  I can barely hold it.  So I sat beside her & reached for her hand & we held it together.” -Brian Andreas, Story People

8 comments
  • Kim - No words ,  Just tears!   January 11, 2017 – 9:51 amReplyCancel

  • Barbara - Summer well said – regardless of our age the pain of our loss, the knowledge that we will never again have those conversations, see those smiles, hear that laughter , feel those hugs are hard for us to hold – and although we cannot change what has happened we can hold each other’s hand, hug each other tight, share memories, or just sit quietly and be there for each other and yes, we need to be more aware that we never know the pain others may be experiencing so may we extend compassion to each other.January 11, 2017 – 9:58 amReplyCancel

    • Summer - Barb, I couldn’t have said this better myself. Your words are so beautiful and ring so true in my heart. Thank you. . .January 11, 2017 – 12:12 pmReplyCancel

  • Gloria Mishler - I lost my dear mother very suddenly and unexpectedly on Christmas Day of 1989 – I was a young mother of three and 34 years old and these words, so wisely written, still bring a sigh from deep inside my heart  where there is  an emptiness even after 27 years.  I remember having the exact same feelings immediately after her death that you write about…..tears come every Christmas Eve as I remember, but, on Christmas Day I can celebrate the birth of my Savior and know that because of His sacrifice I will one day see my dear mother again.   I enjoy reading your blog. January 11, 2017 – 11:00 amReplyCancel

    • Summer - Gloria, this is so beautifully written and I appreciate them so very much. I am so sorry for your loss and also comforted by the sharing of this experience. That yes, these feelings are normal and part of the process, but still, there is beauty to be found.

      Thank you, Gloria.January 11, 2017 – 12:12 pmReplyCancel

  • Christa - God gave you a gift. Bless you dear one. January 11, 2017 – 12:42 pmReplyCancel

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