Today, I did something I’ve never done before…As I was going through things, I spotted it in the bottom of the box in my closet.  A quick glance and bright letters caught my attention.






Yes, she sure was.  I had never seen this before.  How could I not have?  Well, it’s really not that far off base I suppose. There are so many things I don’t remember, didn’t want to see and blocked out from my mind, and now unpacking our boxes in our new home I am finding some heartfelt treasures.

Someone, I don’t know who, made this beautiful book for guests to sign and comment.   I opened it up, and knelt on the floor as my breathing became labored and the words jumped into my heart.  It was beautiful.  I read every comment, signature over and over again…Hundreds of people, friends, strangers, family, elementary and high school friends, college friends, doctors, nurses, construction workers, judges, police officers, parole officers, attorneys, co-workers, teachers, pastors, other grieving parents, and so many more were there traveling from near and far.  As I read some names, I had no idea they even attended Lydia’s memorial, and some I didn’t even know.  Is that bad of me?  No.

With so much happening so fast, I could barely remember what day it was.   I didn’t know they were there but reading their words in this book fills my soul with gratitude and love for their deep compassion, so thankful they would each take time out of their lives to be there. When we are so overwhelmed with grief, our sense of reality is hindered as well as our memory, as we are naturally programmed to block things out, which happens outside our control.

There’s a time and a place for everything, even tackling the gigantic pile of sympathy cards, which I have yet to go through yet. At the time, facing those was much too painful. But now, this year I am going to read them, one by one.  Does it hurt still? Oh yes, but it’s much different now. A bit softer, less shocking, accompanied by a blanket of peacefulness.  I can do it.

For those of you who have been down a similar road, how did you handle it? There’s just not right or easy way but in the end, it’s all those beautiful people who took the time to write that message that you will never forget.  The next time we hear that someone has lost a love, let us reciprocate the love that was given to us and take the time to send that card or attend that memorial.  It could mean the world to a grieving heart.


2 thoughts on “Compassionate Condolences And The Power of Presence

  1. What a beautiful post, Daphne. We have lost children, but before they were ever born. I didn’t know the sound of their voices or the scent of their hair and skin. Some days I think it is easier to grieve and to not know such things. And other days I think I would have liked to know them, instead of imagining who they were and could have been.

    I will keep you and your Lydia on my heart. And thank you for sharing so beautifully. I think you’re right. Pain and trauma change over time. It’s not necessarily that they become less, but they become different.

    With heart & blessings,

    1. Hi Dani. Thank you for your sweet and kind words. I’m so very sorry for your losses as well. Every loss is different and no matter what kind, they all hold a special place in our hearts. Love is really a powerful and beautiful thing. Blessings to you too. You are such an inspiration.

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