Wednesday, September 28, 2011


This week I was called to the home of a mother who had just received news that her adult son died suddenly.

There are no words to describe a grief so profound. I felt like an interloper at the most private of moments.

Should I even be here? This pain is so new, so raw, so devastating.

She was hunched over in a chair so low her head was almost touching her knees, sobbing as if her heart had just broken.

And it had.

Through her sobs, her hands constantly folding and refolding the tissues she clutched, she would occasionally blurt out things her son would never be able to do again. He would never hold his grandson, who is due in December. He would miss his 2 year old granddaughter's birthday party this Sunday. She wondered if they should still have it? Who would explain to this little one why she couldn't see her Papa anymore? As she thought of all the people in her son's life and how they would now have no father, no grandpa, one less brother, one less friend, a fresh wave of pain would rip through her and she would be racked with sobs once again.

There was nothing for me to say. The reality of her loss and her pain defied words.

I offered what I could. I rubbed her back as she cried and brought her more tissue.

I got her water and asked her to take a few sips.

I just sat and shared her pain and wished I could take it away.


  1. The thing about grief, is all you can do is be there. She will need people to be there for a long time and let her talk about her son for years. You did just what was needed.