I got the word last night that one of my close friends lost the father of her son to cancer after a 3 month battle. He was just 35 years old and leaves behind 2 beautiful little boys. Frankly, I am not really sure what to think or feel right now. I am sick, I am angry, and I am so so sad.
She is the 2nd good friend to experience such loss in the past year. My other friend lost the father of her 3 girls suddenly just one year ago this month. I have to admit that I thought when my kids lost their father to cancer 2 years ago at the age of 37, that I’d be the only one I knew who had to go through this and now there are 3 of us. 3 friends who are now forever bound by loss.
When I heard the news last night, I instinctively went back to the day I had to tell my children that their Dad had died and I kept thinking of just how incredibly heart-wrenching that was for me and for my kids. My heart broke knowing that another friend had to take that deep breath and listen to herself say the words she never ever ever thought she’d have to say. Then she had to watch her beautiful little boy react as those words hit his innocent ears. I wish I didn’t know what that looked like and felt like. It is the most helpless feeling in the world. You cannot take their pain away and make this better. You think that as a parent your job is to do just that – FIX IT – but you can’t.
All I can do is tell her that I’ll help her though it. I can’t take her pain away either. The fact is that we are all just so helpless in these situations just as we were when we had to deliver our own tragic news. The only comfort I can give my friend is the assurance that she and her son are not alone and that my family will be there for her every step along the way.
It is times like these that remind me of how very important it is to offer help and support to others who need it. They can gain strength knowing that they are not alone, just as Camp Erin does for our children. My friend’s daughters are going to Camp Erin this year and I know that they will come out of that camp new kids just as my children did. I am forever grateful to Jamie and Karen Moyer and the entire Moyer Foundation for their amazing commitment to giving our kids such strength and inspiration for the future. I am also extremely grateful that they have also given us parents a forum to talk about our struggles and triumphs with others who have experienced the same.
I encourage you to comment below or send me an email about how Camp Erin has helped your children and how you have helped others in their struggles with loss. Together, let’s help each other!