I used to be a total cynic. There was hardly a way for me to believe anyone cared about anyone else in this world. Close family and friends aside, I thought myself to be inconsequential to another human. As quick as a wink I learned just how deeply we are all intertwined.
The recent loss of our baby daughter, Calla, has left me an intellectual zombie. Going on emotional autopilot for days has given me a temporary reprieve from reality. But all around me are amazing people who hold me and my family up when all I want to do is collapse.
My sister-in-law and brother-in-law stayed nearly an entire weekend, with their your girls, at our house with our toddler Eliot. A huge disruption of their lives was endured without a blink of an eye. Our parents, my brother and sister-in-law, spending nearly an entire weekend in the hospital, waiting, watching, crying, consoling us and one another. My sister-in-law racing to get to the hospital to be with us--all these people who love us, pressing the "pause" button right along with us, telling us how much they love us. How can I ever say enough "thank yous?"
Our dear, beloved Reverend Joel Miller spent the night with us when Calla was born. He blessed her, dedicated her, named her with and for us. A man with a family and obligations of his own--at a moment's notice with us, comforting us. "Thank you" can't quite cut it.
Again, our wonderful families--feeding us, keeping the house running, entertaining Eliot and playing endless rounds of the "HIDE!" game. My conservative, stoic father-in-law heading to Wegmans for--of all things he never thought he'd buy for his son's wife--maxi pads. All this done as though it were a regular day of the week. Really, "thank you" is all I can think of?
Through the miracles of modern social networking I have received so many messages of condolences and comfort. I posted our experience as an end to my frequent pregnancy updates, and what I received as a response has been nothing short of astounding. People I haven't spoken to in many, many years, new friends, old friends, acquaintences, even strangers have offered words of comfort, shared sadness and hope. It amazes me that so many people would even care enough to write a simple "I'm sorry" or a long note--what have I done in my life to deserve such kindness?
I know time will pass and our pain will soften around the edges. The solid core of hurt will never fully fade, but all the kindness of others will help us see our way through.