You just go.
I went to a wake today. The teenage son of a High School classmate of mine died tragically this week. It was a sad day; the shocking loss, the burdens to be borne by the parents, siblings. What struck me more than anything else? The caring & tenderness between these bereaved parents - the high school friend & his precious wife. These two – deep & early into their bereavement – shared an almost palpable energy. It held them together as they huddled with visitors; nodding with some, clinging to others. It emanated from him as he helped her to a seat when the weight of their burden took her knees from her. It shone from her eyes as they slid to meet his in a lighter, easier moment.
It had been that way when we he first introduced her at our 20th reunion. The pride swelling in his chest, the adoring smiles & sweetness in each other’s glances told of a love that was rich & true; one that had spanned the stretch of some life together. Today, in the midst of a sadness that few parents know & fewer marriages survive, these two leaned into that love for dear life. You just can’t do that if there’s nothing to lean into. And for these two, there is. Thanks be to God, because they’re going to need it.
Life is not fair. This is not fair. There’s no way to explain that something like this should happen to anyone at all, much less to two bound by such a sweetness, with such an obvious love for their first born. There’s no way to decipher the meaning in the events of this week.
In these moments you simply go. You embrace the shattered mother, friend. You embrace the tearful, heartsick father. You go because it doesn’t matter what you say or don’t say. It matters that you’re there. You go, because they need to know someone will remember their son.
You go, because you would want someone to remember yours.
You go. You just go.