It was a little before four when my cell phone started vibrating. I looked at the caller ID and answered immediately. It wasn’t my friend calling, but his wife.
“Is everything OK,” I asked?
It was not. My friend’s teenage son had died.
He was staying at his mother’s condo. She came home in the morning and found him lifeless in his bed. He’d suffered some medical problems before, but no one expected this.
This evening I called my friend. What do you say? There are no right words.
“I’m cried out right now,” he offered.
We both knew the crying has just begun.
I can’t put myself in his shoes, but by the time you’re a grown-up you’ve been around death too much. His grief will come in waves like the angry sea in a major storm. It will wash over him. It will flatten him. It will be relentless.
With time his grief will diminish, but it will never go away.
It’s easy to say a parent should never bury his own child, but that phrase is only here because parents do bury their children.
I don’t know what comfort I can be hundreds of miles away. There’s nothing he could ask I wouldn’t do. I plan on being there for the funeral. That’s days away, probably after Christmas.
It doesn’t make sense, does it? Death is so stupid… so pointless…. so cruel.
We will all move on, but we will be different.