Thursday, September 8, 2016

Unexpected Celebrity

Unexpected Celebrity
When a tragedy occurs in our families
we get put in the spotlight.
The beauty is that communities 
step forward to embrace us and
offer their love and support.
The hard part is reliving the grief
everytime we step out into that community.

Last week a family in our community
lost their dad, son, husband unexpectedly.
He and his seventh grader were riding bikes to school.
His death changed an ordinary day into an extraordinary loss.

Instead of football games and soccer practice their weekend was
spent in a puddle surrounded by friends and family
trying desperately to find the words to ease the uneasable pain.

This families loss reminds each of us of the losses in our own lives.
Whether we have lost a parent, sibling, child or friend
we relate to the heart numbing pain.
My heart reaches back to losing my son, Ryan, over six years ago.
Time passes but the missing piece of my heart remains.
Others hold each other a little tighter recognizing that it could just as easily be
their family moving through this pain. 

Once the service is over and out-of town guests have gone home,
the refrigerator still is full of lovingly made casseroles
but the house feels empty and quiet.
Then the reality sinks in that life is forever changed.

Just going to the grocery store is hard.
In our little town everyone cares,
everyone wants to know if you are okay,
everyone wants you to know they are there for you.
Unexpected celebrity.
You are grateful for the support.
But you just can't talk about it anymore.
You just wanted to get out of the house for a moment.

I know this sounds harsh, ungrateful even.
But for me it was just too hard knowing everyone knew 
that my heart was broken.
I found myself driving to the next town to get away.
Anonymity was what I craved.

Eventually life moves on, the tears flow less,
and your celebrity fades.
Oh I will forever be the mom whose son took his life.
But as time passes, I am also the lady who has a basket of toys
for everyone to use at the park, Noni,
and retired teacher.

Thank God for community.
Thank God for others to wrap their hearts around us.
Thank God even for unexpected celebrity.

In Him,

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