I recently had dinner with a woman I only met a few weeks ago ... she is lovely, her heart is big and it is generous, and she is kind. She and I were with her mother when she died. She held her mother's hand, she told her she loved her and she cried... like many of us have.
However, her story is just a little different than ours. A few years prior to that, five weeks before her mother was diagnosed, she said goodbye to her husband, the love of her life, the father of her son, and their unborn baby. She didn't have a chance to grieve, she had to move right into the mode of caring for her mother, and making sure her wishes were honored.
During this time, she had her second son, both of which she is raising on her own... however, she has a village, a tribe of family and friends who remind her daily that while it sometimes feels like it... she is not doing this alone.
As we talked about her mom, her husband, and her boys, it became quite apparent that she has not yet had a chance to grieve, and I could see that her grieving was starting now... and it would not be easy. Her focus is on her boys, making sure that they are cared for well, know how deeply loved they are, and that while they didn't have much time with their father or grandmother, their legacy will carry on and they will be talked about often.
Her kids love her mom, even in the short amount of time they had with her, they love her and they remember her well. Shortly after she died, they were playing in their room when a reflection of something, lit up by the sun streaming through the window, sent rainbow prisms all over the walls. They laughed and they danced around the room shouting, "grandma is here," giggling and laughing, saying she was tickling them. They truly believed that their grandmother was there with them, that she came to play with them again.
My wish for my new friend is that she is held tightly while she navigates two really big losses, that she feels cared for and supported by many, that she never feels alone... and that her mother visits her children often... so they can all laugh, and dance, and giggle together.