I am having a had a hard time writing because lately I am having a hard time figuring out what to say.
Last week, a baby was born and a husband died. In the first case, I don’t even know the parents-in the traditional sense. I have read about them only on their blog. In the later, I haven’t laid eyes on the family in years. I grew up down the street with the wife and in Maryland would see her and her girls in church every week. We would smile. That’s it.
It doesn’t seem to matter-time nor distance-I still feel so much for all these people.
For the parents of the new baby-extreme joy and also a tinge of sadness. See, the baby girl that was born is healthy and beautiful, but she is born into a house that is missing her big sister. It was barely a year ago that her parents had another baby girl who was quickly stolen from them by death. So while they celebrate their newest daughter, I am sure they also ache for their first.
For the wife who lost her husband, I am angry and profoundly sad. It is hard not to imagine her days. She has to wake in a bed he no longer keeps warm. She has to carry on with the daily tasks of mothering, knowing she can not share them with her best friend at the end of the day. She must try to reconcile the drastic change that mere hours can bring to your life all the while planning for what lays ahead-the unknown of alone.
What I feel mostly though, which is why it is hard to write, is guilt. I feel guilty that I feel so much for people I barely know anymore or never really knew at all. I know it seems strange, but it is as if I don’t have the right for such sadness or joy when I did not connect more in time of normal. I know it doesn’t make sense but it is there.
I also feel guilt that while I complain about my perfectly healthy kids who can sometimes try my patience, or my husband who gets home late and falls asleep on the couch, there are families out there who do not have the luxury of my day to day. My children are not only alive, but thriving and yet some days I still want to run from the house screaming. My husband is happy and healthy and I still can’t stand him sometimes. Feeling that-and knowing there are people that would trade all my frustration for just one more second with their child or their spouse breaks my heart with guilt.
Knowing that in the same dark morning I have to force myself to get up dressed because I am so tired there is a woman out there who is also forcing herself to get up and get dressed and she probably has to remind herself just to keep breathing.
I know problems and frustrations and sorrow and joy are all relative. You own your own-no matter what goes on in others’ houses. And guilt, like worry, is a useless emotion. Guilt doesn’t make anything better or help anyone move ahead.
So, today I will not feel guilty about my sorrow or my joy. I will smile for The Spohrs and I will weep for Ali and her girls. It matters not that I know them. It matters only that I care.
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