I'll cut right to the chase: it's been a difficult week, my friends.
I didn't even know her and never had the privilege of meeting her. But the grief has been strong at times throughout the week.
A family that we know...that we share friendship connections with...some of whom we go to church with...is burying their two-year-old little girl this afternoon after she accidentally drowned outside of their home on Tuesday evening. A tragic, horrible accident...and a family, with deep, long-stretching roots, forever changed.
We know the grandparents, spend quality time with an aunt and uncle, have a friendship and used to work with a cousin...and we know (to a very small degree) what they are feeling. Hearing the news just brought forth emotions within me, sobs and yelling at Jesus and asking why, and at the same time, praying for this family. It didn't matter than I never met this little girl and that I barely know her parents - my mother's heart just ached all week, the same feelings of missing my son coming to the surface and knowing their pain is at a much, much deeper level.
Her viewing was this morning, and I went while Hubby stayed home with the kids. My intentions were to see the families we knew, hug them tight, and be on my way.
The receiving line was long. Really long. This family is so loved and being prayed for that it's amazing. Friends. Families that attend church with them. Distant cousins. Neighbors. Work-related acquaintances. Childhood buddies. I heard so many conversations, put together numerous connections. Tears came and went (from myself and all others) throughout the 45-minute stand in line. Especially when the child in front of me, being held by her daddy, pointed to one of the little girl's beautiful photos and said, "There's my friend! There's my friend!" My heart collapsed, along with the other hearts who heard her.
In the end, I stayed in line and managed to see the parents and siblings. So much grief and pain. They know Jesus, and they know that this little girl is with Him, but it's painful. It's a rollercoaster. And it will be for quite some time, even after everyone goes home and a new "normal" begins for them.
Prayers. That's all I ask. Please pray for this entire family, their protection, the guilt and "what if's" and anger that most certainly are on their way, if they aren't there already.