Although the great tide of love and support has retreated from the rocky shore of my life — whenever I feel tempted to believe that I am stranded above the high-water mark, a gentle wave of love reaches me. Today, a parcel from the United Kingdom blessed me beyond all measure, for it reminded me that I really am not alone, although it may appear to be that way.

Beautiful gifts from afar, August 2012
"The madness of love is a blessed fate; and if we understood this we would seek no other. It brings into unity what was divided and this is the truth: bitterness it makes sweet, it makes the stranger a neighbour, and what was lovely it raises on high." — 13th century poet and mystic Hodewijch of Anterwerp

I am thankful to the friends and acquaintances — close and afar — who have contacted me after hearing of Elijah’s death. Even a short word via email or card has demonstrated to me that we are in their hearts. Many write, “I don’t know what to say,” but the fact that they took the time to communicate is enough.

This is definitely something I can learn from and practice in my own life. I don’t want to put others in the same position I have found myself — awkward moments in public places when I have met up with old friends, and I have had to say “Have you heard our news?”

It’s even more awkward when the person says that they have heard about Elijah and David. After these encounters, I am left wondering about the years we gave towards these relationships — did we mean so little at the time, or are our present differences now greater than common courtesy?

However, rather than focusing on the hurt that I feel, I’m choosing to use these experiences to remind myself to send a word — a gentle word of love and support — to let the grieving ones know that 1) I have heard of the situation and 2) I care.

If these sad times continue to teach me how to love others properly, how to comfort the mourning and how to empathise with those who suffer loss, they are a good lesson. My challenge is to continue to demonstrate positive attributes so my girls learn from me without also having to experience such pain and sadness. Let my loss be their gain.