This post is dedicated to those that were there the day Lydia died, shortly after and those that have stood by my side since. Some more than others handled some heavy burdens that day. Read through for another special tribute at the end.
In light of Sarah, our last caregiver from Germany, coming to see us, it has prompted me to reminisce about the day Lydia died. I know that sounds strange and extremely sad, but when it is your child you want to talk about and know everything – even the day they left you. And to be quite honest, there are very few people who can discuss that type of day with you.
In talking with her and another friend about May 11, we covered everything – tears fell and some laughter slipped in to lighten the mood of all the events of the day. I heard things for the first time about who was there and what they did to support our family. Parts of the day were a giant fog while others crystal clear.
While some might thing recalling this day may be morbid, it just wasn’t. At least for me. Emotions spilled along with words that should have been said a long time ago. It filled in the holes and missing pieces I just didn’t remember or just never knew about.
But, as we finished our conversation and I went to bed, recalling all the emotions of the day she left us, I was so thankful. Thankful for the people I have in my life or even HAD in my life. At that time and even now- quality over quantity.
While some value themselves on the number people they have around them or the number of follows and likes appearing on social media – we forget about quality. TRUE quality.
For most, friendships change as we age and life evolves. Some choose career, staying single while some have a family with kids. None of it is wrong – it is just the paths we each follow.
Sadly, life gets in the way of some of the beautiful relationships we create. I have been guilty of losing touch, not being able to reach out as much or even not seeing the very important people who I love and value in my life. For me, I work full time and have a busy family life and I tend to believe I’m doing good by my kids by focusing on them. But, one will truly never know.
But our conversations about the day Lydia died…they reaffirmed so much for me. To truly understand WHO the people are that stand by you. The ones who don’t falter…ever….even when it is REALLY, REALLY hard.
Losing a child, for me, has been one of the hardest journeys I hope to see in my lifetime. I can’t imagine or want anything worse. But, the quality I had that day…the worst day ever and since that time, has been remarkable.
Who shows up and stands by your dead daughter’s side? Who makes that call to tell me my daughter is gone? Who tries to smooth out her hard, rigid hands? Who stays with you for a year after to make sure your family is ok? Who comes and sits with you as you are in complete and utter shock and disbelief? Who helps your kids understand their sister is gone? Who loves your kids day in and day out as I grieved? Who helps you find songs for a list to play at your child’s funeral? Who writes a eulogy? Who brings food and listens to you cry time after time? Who teaches you how to hug because they are good friends who tell you that you don’t hug well and it will be something you do for the next few days? Who runs to the store to get water and clay molding for your child’s feet and hands? Who takes your daughter’s sheets home to dispose so you don’t have to relive what happened? Who continues to show up for the next days, months, years and hears you cry because the confusion of losing a child has shook your life? Who stays?
That is friendship. Not the superficial bullshit most have in their lives. These are the ones who TRULY and UTTERLY love you and show up – no matter what. And if you are lucky enough to have some of those STILL show up when the healing journey starts (and never finishes) you are really damn lucky…because they are keepers.
Surround yourself with quality – even if the quantity is low. Because, really – that is all you ever really need.
This post is a tribute and thank you to our former caregiver, Sarah, who as a very young woman, handled so much pain that day for the little girl she cared for and the parents she stood by to make sure we were ok. In the midst of our pain, we forgot how much she was going through and I’ll forever regret not doing more to help her emotionally. We truly wouldn’t be where we are today without her staying by our side through it all. She saved us and I will be FOREVER grateful for her being there. She is more than quality – she is a gift from God.