Friday, July 22, 2011

With Sympathy....

     So, there I was. I knew I couldn't put it off any longer. My stepbrother, oh so tragically young (not even 50) passed away this week. Tim and some of our girls were heading out later that night for the long drive to where the funeral would be taking place. I needed to purchase a card to express our condolences. My plan was to send it in several weeks when perhaps the initial flood of cards, flowers, meals, and calls had lessened. I wanted my card to be one more reminder that there are relatives who cared and were sorry for their beloved's loss.
     In the greeting card section at Target, I warily started looking through the cards. Sending wishes your way that you find comfort in knowing how they are in a better place now.... or So sorry for your loss, words can't express how much he meant to us... and I'll never forget his smile, his will live on in our memories... There were cards that were religious, like With sympathy...praying that you feel God's comfort in this time of loss. I definitely wanted a card that included that I was praying, not just wishing, that they would find God's comfort, not just "comfort." How do you adequately express how sad you are and how much you want to bring them some measure of comfort, even with a silly card?
     As I browsed through card after card, finding one or two I liked, tears bubbled up and trickled down my cheeks. I was so relieved that I was alone in the aisle. I couldn't help but feel the stinging sadness, yanking at my heart, of losing my stepbrother. I imagined the effort it took for  his wife and kids to sort of momentarily put their grief, shock, and pain off  in a corner in a massive box labeled with a jagged and precise pen that said: GRIEF-OPEN LATER AND WRESTLE WITH AND PROCESS FOR YEARS AND YEARS ON END. In my troubled spirit I couldn't push away an irreverent desire to find a bold, brutally honest card that read something like this:
With Sympathy...

Death sucks!
I hate it!
All that is wrong with the world has to do with death!
I'm so mad that you lost this man you so loved, A man that had one of the kindest hearts ever!

And when you feel angry, too, or just want to cry - I'll be here for you
     Something to that effect. However,  Leanne showed up after several minutes of my card-perusing and popped a card into my hand. "I like this one," she declared. That Leanne of mine has such a perceptive, discerning mind that as I looked at the card, I noticed it was one of my top choices. I immediately placed it into the cart and off we were. "Mom," Leanne inquired, "why were you crying?"
     "Oh," I muttered, "just because." I really need to get better at explaining things.

No comments: