Yesterday the world lost a beautiful 6 year old girl. Yesterday, a community was faced with the sudden death of an innocent 6 year old child. Yesterday, a special person in my life had to say good bye to his amazing 6 year old daughter. Yesterday was so brutally and inexplicably unfair and I want to scream at the top of my lungs until there is nothing left inside of me to scream.
Yesterday can’t be taken back. She was 6.
Losing anyone is painful; losing a child is unthinkable. And navigating that grief can be simply overwhelming. I want to be there for my friend. I want to take his daughter’s life and give it back to him. I want to make everything better and whole and new again. But I can’t. I am not alone in feeling this way.
Yesterday I felt powerless. Today I still have no words. But I have come to terms with how I CAN help. It may be little, it probably won’t make a noticeable difference, but it’s the only way people like me can help anyone who his navigating their grief journey after losing a child. And right now, working through identifying these is the only way I know how to navigate my own grief.
I’ve accepted that I can’t “fix” any thing. Never will I say “It will be ok”. It won’t be. Instead I will say “I’m sorry”, and be there to listen when he calls on me. He may not, but the only comfort that I can offer is empathy. There is no “fixing”… there is only time, and giving my ear, heart, and my warm hug is the only “fix” possible.
I’ve accepted the fact that his loss might make me uncomfortable. Losing a child is un-natural. As a mother, I can’t ever imagine the sorrow and pain, but I know it must be all-consuming and unbearable.We will be at a loss for words, we will feel awkward, we will be uncomfortable. And it’s ok to feel that way. When in doubt, I don’t have to say anything at all. I’ll just be present.
I will always remember Kianna. Always remember the children. Facebook is inundated with pictures of this beautiful six year old girl who was taken too soon and thanks to social media we will always have those memories, to remind him we remember her too, and to fondly look back at how she touched all our lives, even for just a short time. I will remember her smile, her energy. I will remember the polite way she took my hand to cross the parking lot when we were chasing the home-runs her Dad was hitting from the ball diamond. I will always remember how she looked at her Dad when he spoke – adoringly, unabashedly, with so much love.
I realize my friend will struggle every day with his happiness. He will never recover. He will never fully heal. And every day will be a challenge for him to be happy. I know that I can’t affect that happiness either. My friend will struggle every day. And the only thing I can offer is my friendship. I know it’s enough. Because it’s all any of us can give.
It’s unfair. It’s unthinkable. It’s unimaginable. But yesterday can’t be taken back. And I am so sorry for my friend.
RIP beautiful Kianna.