That is not a whining or complaining "Why?," in case you wondered. It is more of a contemplative question.
My dear friend I mentioned a couple of posts ago has been through the wringer. In the last 7 months, she has lost two grandmothers, two cousins, and her father. And then yesterday, her uncle (the father of another friend of mine) was in a terrible car accident and is in critical condition with many truly horrible injuries.
And so I ask: Why?
I don't know.
I do know that sometimes our troubles come piled, heaping, overflowing. I know that after great tragedy, more tragedy often follows. It's a truth of life that I hadn't imagined until it happened to us. Once it did, I then confirmed this sad pattern as I spoke to others who had experienced the same compounding of heartache and hardship.
I also know this: even when things are blackest, there are angels around us. I have found great peace in watching my group of friends rally around those who struggle. We became friends through play and pleasure, but our friendship has become tangible and touchable as we grieve together, make meals, clean, watch children. What a blessing it is to have people to love us on this journey. What a gift it is to have someone love us.
When Brent died, this friend and I were just beginning to know each other. And the day I got home from his funeral, she came over, cleaned my kitchen, and listened to me talk. She listened to me talk for weeks after, for months after, for years after. She listened to me talk about family worries, about grief, about pain, about everything on my mind. Sometimes I wondered how I could ever repay her for her kindness, her willingness to be a strong-minded, wise, super fun friend, even in the face of a grief she didn't fully understand.
And now I know. There is no repaying. There is only love. There is a melding of hearts that makes questions of repayment ridiculous. When someone you love hurts, your own heart hurts, and you stretch to help. It is no debt. It is the most true gift there is.
This doesn't answer my "Why?" but it reassures me that the safety net I used to think was missing is in reality the people who love us, who care for us, who cushion us as we fall. We may not always be aware of who they are. Sometimes we can feel very alone. But they are there, on both sides of the veil, weeping with us, cheering for us.