One of the things I count as a blessing that has come out of our journey through Josiah's death is my souls capacity for empathy. It was something that was there to a small degree before his death but it has certainly grown immensely. I am grateful that my heart now hurts for others more easily, that I can sense and feel someones pain more readily, that I can sympathize with someones suffering no matter how different from mine. I feel like I am a better person. Hopefully a better friend, a better wife and a better mom because of it. And I now I wouldn't have grown in this way with out the experience of losing Josiah.
But somedays that empathy overwhelms me, even consumes me. It can be so heavy on my heart that it makes it hard to breath. This week an acquaintance of mine ( a women that Milo and I went to high school with) lost her 11year old son when he was struck by a car. I have not spoken to this woman since high school. I had never met her son. But my heart is breaking for her. I check on her through facebook a million times a day. I guess I want to make sure she's okay and that she's got people around her. I search through comments in an attempt to protect her and make sure people aren't saying harmful things (even though they don't realize it). Those days just after losing Josiah were so hard and it just breaks my heart to know that someone else is feeling that way. It breaks my heart to think of her trying to sleep at night, trying to get up in the morning, trying to make breakfast for her other children. It breaks my heart to think of her trying to make decisions about what to do her child's body, picking out clothes to wear to his funeral, attempting to look into her son's empty room. It breaks my heart to think of Christmas coming so quickly and there is no doubt there are gifts already purchased and wrapped with his name on them. My heart just breaks for her. I know her pain and I can't do anything about it. I can't take it away. I can't make it easier. I want to but I can't and that weighs so heavily on my heart. It is so painful to watch another mom grieve.
I don't want anyone to read this and think poor Erin. This is not about me. I recognize that I don't know her pain. It is not the same as mine, no ones ever is. But I empathize deeply with what she is facing. She has a long journey ahead of her. All I can do and am doing for her is pray. I pray that God reveals his deep, deep love for her, her family, and her son in ways so profound that she can find some comfort. I pray that with God's help she can walk through this darkness and one day step out of it and regain a life where the pain is never erased but is surrounded by great joy and great hope. God hear my prayer.