June 28, 2016
My daughter Jessica died 29 years ago, June 26; she was three years old. Actually, she was 2 years, 8 months, and 10 days old, but I round up; so she was 3. It just so happens that I almost missed the ‘milestone’ day altogether.
Six years after Jessica’s death, my youngest daughter was born. Actually, Mimi was born June 25, 1993, the day before Jessica’s sixth anniversary. For the next 19 years I attempted to let the joyful remembrance of one daughter’s birth, overshadow the sorrowful remembrance of another daughter’s death. I don’t think I succeeded.
For the past 3 years, I found the elusive acceptance stage. Still, all my focus was on, well, me. And I didn’t want to wait another 28 years for the peace to finally seep into my soul.
“Please Lord, let me have peace!” I would beg. “Denial, I did it. Anger, I was it. Bargaining, depression, I’d done my penance. And now, acceptance, I get it, I accept! Now, peace, please?” I would end weakly.
Perhaps the toughest lesson I’ve had to learn over the past five decades is that I will receive that which I crave the most, when I crave it the least.
I woke up on Sunday, June 26 sadly empathetic. A friend, Mr. Uruguay, suffered a massive stroke and it was on this day that his wife of 57 years, Mrs. Uruguay, began trying to process the immensity of it all: life, death, change.
I sat with Mrs. Uruguay as she watched her husband. I cannot stop her pain. However, I can empathize with her pain. And for the past two days, that is what I have done: sit and empathy. My hope is that Mrs. Uruguay find peace.
“Please Lord, let her find peace! Please, let her have peace.”
Two days, sit and empathy. And prayers for peace. And I am peaceful, oddly peacefu. But my peace is secondary to what Mrs. Uruguay is going through.
I’m on my way back to sit with my friend. It’s sure to get tougher, soon. And I’ll be here, not feeling sorry for myself, not feeling alone, and not feeling anything but the peace I so desperately searched for, for 29 years.
“It’s in giving that we receive.”