Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The other side of tragedy

We learned yesterday that someone we know tragically (and violently) lost their young adult daughter.  I am truly heartbroken for this family, a family who helped me in my hour of need.  In fact, it is the brother of this young woman who is responsible for my happening on Kellen's name.  I did not know Katy personally, but I knew her brother, mother, and father, and they are all incredibly kind people, and I can only imagine that their daughter was just as beautiful and talented and generous.

It's true that bad stuff happens everyday.  Sadly, murders happen everyday.  But there's only been one other time in my life where it has affected someone I know.  I've spent the last 24 hours incredibly sad.  As a mother I cannot even imagine losing my child.  And as a self-proclaimed helper, I want desperately to be able to do something to undo this tragic event.  I can't.

I've been reflecting on being on this side of tragedy, being the person who knows the person but not knowing how to help.  I can send a card and an email, but that's most definitely not enough.  I could send flowers, but even that seems like so little given the scope of the tragedy.  I know rationally that nothing I can do can take away the pain, even though I wish so much that I could.

I know that our fire and this are absolutely different situations, but I do remember being asked what people could do to help and not knowing what to say.  That is where I am today, wanting to know what I can do.  And yet when you are in the midst of dealing with such a horrible situation, you have no idea how to tell people how to help.  All you want to do is cry in the midst of having to do all the things that have to be done that day.  But sitting here on my couch, I feel totally helpless, and I hate that.

What can I do to help this family, to reach out, to let them know today, six months from now, on the three year anniversary that I'm thinking of them?

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