Tuesday, May 14, 2013

" Random" Acts of Comfort And My Earth Angel

After Dude died, I received many, many expressions of sympathy.  Many of the messages came from people I went to college with but hadn't spoken to since we graduated nine years ago.  I dubbed these "random" acts of comfort because they came from kind people who were not our close friends and family. I so appreciated them taking time to express their condolences and share stories of their interactions with Dude, and in some cases, the impact he had on their lives.  I don't know how they knew to reach out to me, but was so touched that they did.

One of the "random" acts of comfort came from someone named Mary.  Truth be told, I think I friended Mary on Facebook because I saw one of her wedding photos and thought they were so pretty I wanted to check out more.  C'mon, you know you've done the same thing. You just might not ever publicly admit it.  Mary and I may have had one class together, but our school was small so everyone knew everyone.  She wasn't really friends with me or Dude, but she had definitely had interactions with both of us throughout our four years on campus.  As I sorted through all the condolences, Mary's stood out.  She said that she wanted to share her story with me because she felt she could help me.  Totally grief stricken and heartbroken, I had no idea how I was going to handle the situation I suddenly found myself in.  If someone, anyone, was willing to offer advice, I was willing to listen.  I could use all of the help I could get.  I asked her how she knew to reach out to me.  Her response was that the bond between Dude and I was evident to everyone who came in contact with us.  My response is God sent her to help me.  That's why I call her my Earth Angel.

Mary lost her best friend seven years ago.   She is six years ahead of me in this grief process.  She's been through those dark, hard moments when you just clutch your pillow, lift you head, and realize the pillow case is sopping wet!  She understands the pain.  The confusion.  The utter sense of loss.  She "gets" me. My situation is rather complicated, but Mary's been in my shoes.  Mary has gone from barely surviving to thriving.  God sent Mary to show me that there is hope and a future after suffering such a devastating blow.

She reminds me of the love Dude and I shared.  That, no matter what, that love is a gift that is mine forever.  The memories are treasures that only I will have.  She assures me that I can move forward without having to pretend Dude never existed.  She begs me not to ever make such a sacrifice.  Mary also sends me surprises.  I love surprises.  Dude used to love to surprise me.  Look what just came in the mail!

That's dark chocolate.  I told you she was an angel!  Accompanying the chocolate was the perfect message:
life is an ocean you must swim across with salt in your eyes and big waves to cross; there are storms and sharks and sunburn to face, but despite the current, you must keep your pace; weak and tired when you reach the beach, yet strength and wisdom the waves of life teach.
One of the most difficult things about grief is no matter how hard I work to get through the pain, I cannot bring Dude back.  But, I sure am glad I have Mary to join me on this difficult road.  She knows it's not easy, but a little dark chocolate makes it more bearable.

A "random" act of comfort led me to my Earth Angel.  So thankful. 


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