What to say when words are inadequate?
What to do when anything is not enough?
How to not cry when crying is all that seems right?
How to comfort when no comfort can be found?
I wrote in my head all night.
It was that, or cry, which I did a little before going to bed: there is a young couple I know from my last church whose son (a wee babe) was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer last year. He was one of the happiest little boys ever. He even liked me; I don’t feel I am very good with babies but many of them seem to like me. I suspect it’s more the interest in my glasses than me exactly. That, or they are in truth aliens, but that’s another story.
One day he was his usual, bubbly joyful self and the next he was sick. A trip to the doctor and a diagnosis that no one ever imagined. He was in and out of hospital and a few weeks ago they stopped chemo and the other treatments. I read in this week’s prayer bulletin that he crossed the Rainbow Bridge on Tuesday.
I cried for his parents, who have watched cancer as it ravaged their son. I cried for them because now they have to go on without him and be ‘normal’ for their other two (small) children. I cried for his grandmother, who basically put her life on hold to be there. I cried for the rest of his family. I cried for this wee babe who died on Halloween.
I had a dream last night that I went to the church and, among the other women, this boy’s mom and grandmom were there. They were eating and singing through their sorrow; the song they sang had a line in it:
Things will be better tomorrow.
I interrupted and said, ‘No — tomorrow is not promised: things are better today.’ I hugged his mom and we cried together. ‘If you need anything, do not hesitate to call. Anytime, 24-7.’ There were people in the room who seemed familiar and who were not related to this group in real life; they reminded me of people long gone across the Rainbow Bridge and who I had not thought of in some time.
There was more to the dream, but I went on and got up after that.
I had gone to bed, thinking of the story I had planned for today. I almost came back out and grabbed my notebook, thinking that writing it would quell the grief a bit. I was tired and did not do it, but the story lingered behind my eyelids before I fell off.
I will write it today but needed to write this now.
I hope to get the family’s address; they moved not too long ago, bought a house quite a distance from me, so I won’t get to attend the service on Saturday. I have a prior commitment that day as well. I want to send a card, inadequate as it will be. I will send one to them and to the grandmother.
I will write my story because the words are threatening to spill out. I have work to do but if the pressure gets too great, I will have to stop and put the words onto paper.
It’s the least I can do.