Last week my family suffered another huge loss. My 30 year old niece was found dead. It seemed that she did not show up for work and then when the police came to her apartment-they discovered her body in her bed. They think that she went to bed and then did not wake up-and the cause of death has yet to be determined.
How do we cope with this? My sister-in-law has been through so much loss-her father when she was 10, her mother at 24, her husband at 30, her brother at 60. Now the loss of her daughter - and the funeral was on Mother's day. My niece was an only child-so cherished by her mom, that they were best friends.
In the past six years-I too have been through many losses. Bruce's death was sudden, then the death of my best friend's husband, most recently my mom, and now my niece. And I wonder how we deal with this much. True, I believe that we can be resilient. But it is not a given that we will experience these losses and continue on with our life. There are those who do not cope, who cannot move on.
I have been told to focus on what I have-and our growing family. But it seems to me that it is not that simple. Almost like the theory that bringing home a new dress will replace a favorite that you now must discard. And that analogy is ludicrous - but that is all we have.
In a few weeks, I will welcome a new grandchild and I am so grateful for the family that surrounds me. But the weight of the loss stays with me. How do we continue to put one foot in front of the other, to welcome the additions as we mourn the losses?