It is hard for me at times to find anything positive when thinking about the deaths of my two children. I feel like grief is sometimes, very selfish and I have spent countless hours, wallowing in my sorrow and in my sadness. I have thought many times, "No one on this earth, can hurt as bad as I do. No one on this earth could possibly ever know the depths of my despair." I had an experience a couple of days ago, that made me thankful.......actually thankful for what I have lived and for what I have suffered in the last 3 1/2 years.
Tuesday, Scarlett and I had several things that we had to do and errands that needed to be ran. We went to the gym, we both had to go to the dentist, we went to the grocery store and we went to pick up some prescriptions at the pharmacy. We drove through the pharmacy drive-thru and I was greeted by one of the pharmacy techs that always is there and always helps me. I said, "Hey woman" and then told her which prescription I needed to pick up. She went back in and got my prescription and came back to get my money and my signature, and I asked her without even really thinking, "How was your Christmas?" She looked back at me and said, "Not good, my husband died." I immediately just felt such intense and unconditional empathy for her. I said several times over and over and I made sure that I looked deep into her eyes, "I'm so sorry. I am so very sorry." She went on to tell me that they had been married for 45 years. I told her again a couple of more times, how sorry I was and she replied back, "I can tell that you are and I really appreciate your kindness." Right before Scarlett and I drove off, I told her that I would pray for her. As soon as we drove off, Scarlett and I pulled over in our car, and we said a prayer for this sweet lady to feel some peace and to be able to get through the next days, weeks and months without her companion.
I have thought about this encounter with this sweet lady for the last couple of days. If I had not been through what I have been through and continue to walk through, I would not have felt the same way about this woman or about her loss. I felt thankful that I could hopefully let her know that I was so sorry for what she was going through and that I truly cared. Maybe that helped to left her spirits just a little and help her get through that day. I have known and still know suffering on a daily basis and I pray that I can learn to have more true Christlike compassion and empathy for everyone I come in contact with. Every single day. I was thankful in that moment on Tuesday, to have gone through what I have and going through what I am. I want to be a better person after all is said and done. A better wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend and human being. Maybe one day I will look back and be completely grateful for the struggle.