I am at a loss today. It has been six months today that my 14 year old goddaughter was taken from us by cancer. To say that I have been distracted would be a gross understatement. My body has been running ragged, it seemed to be aware of this milestone before I was. There is a reason we Catholics mark months one and six; and then every year after a person dies. It is like the codification of what the body and spirit intuitively know.
We have lost so much with this child’s death. Our family has lost a a spirit of light. The world has lost that dynamic young spirit and lost the possibility that beat inside her lion’s heart. My daughter has lost her innocence – she knows death now, and that our time is finite. My husband and I have lost the sense that we can protect our children from all the world’s dangers, we know now that there are things well beyond our control.
A friend who suffered the violent and sudden loss of her husband shared this Washington Post article: After Newton shooting, parents enter into the lonely quiet. It is a well-written and accurate depiction of grief. Newtown happened just four days after my goddaughter’s death. I remember scrolling through my Facebook feed and trying to understand what was unfolding in Connecticut. I glanced at a news report and promptly shut down my phone. I could not take in a national tragedy when faced with my own very personal one.
I am thinking of those parents today. Their children are the same age as my eldest. I wonder how they are putting one foot in front of the other this week. I remember wanting to crawl into the earth and wishing it would swallow me up. I remember the agony of maintaining my children’s routines. To be a godparent, a comadre, is to willingly accept responsibility for a child. She was not mine, but she was so much a part of my world. I hovered over her from the time she was born and celebrated her achievements and milestones. I helped clean her body when the end had come. And today, for a while, my family and I will join the Newton parents in that lonely quiet with prayers for us all.