Our friends lost their son in a tragic accident last weekend. The mom was one of the first people I met when we moved here. Her boys are 3 years apart--like mine, but ten years further along. She has been a sounding board for me on everything to do with living with and raising sons. Her experiences have given me so many valuable insights.
We are all the things you would expect: shocked, sad, heartsick. We have spoken to our friend on the phone and brought fresh squeezed orange juice to the house--right now they are mobbed with extended family, neighbors, friends. Their front porch looks like a shrine. Someone has placed little pots of miniature daffodils along their walkway. The family is being taken care of--insofar as that is possible--which of course it's not. Not really.
Meanwhile, other friends of ours have called us: How is the boy's family doing? How are we doing? They don't know the family personally, but they know we do. They express their sympathy. They have fed us dinner and held our hands. Distracted our kids so we can sit together and talk.
I imagine this is happening all over our little town--the very closest friends and family are with the bereaved. The next circle out is bringing flowers and food, writing notes. Beyond that, friends are taking extra care of one another, hugging their kids more, walking them all the way to school instead of just to the corner. We are so lucky to be here, to be together.