There are some moments in life where I wished everything would just stop. My heart had broken for a moment, and I needed time to reflect that break. Yet, the cruel irony is that time continues to go forward and carries everyone with it.
No matter how hard I wish it, time won’t stop and it definitely won’t go backward. It marches forward, bringing unwanted sunrises, and more days. During these times, I haven’t wanted the new day to come at first. I have resented the sunlight and the demands of the day. I have wished for a pause button. I have wished for the power to hold everything still while I processed what had happened.
The first time I felt this cruel irony of the world continuing to spin, without me ready for it, was packing up my children’s toys and not knowing where we were going to unpack them. But now that I have experienced a few more years, that moment pales in comparison to what a dear friend of mine must be feeling.
I felt this desire to stop time a few years later when my paternal grandfather passed unexpectedly. I had wanted to visit him a few months prior, but was too worried about what else my children might break in his home. So, I didn’t go when I had the chance. Losing that opportunity still is bitter to my heart. Yet, I know this is nothing compared to what my friend is feeling.
I knew the desire to wish the world still again, when my maternal grandfather passed five months later. This passing was easier, though, because he had been so ill for a long time. It was sad to see him go on, but I knew in my heart he was ready to move forward with his life and be freed from his broken body. I had the sweet experience of spending a lot of time with him just before he passed, so my wish for the world to be still was not as vehement.
I wasn’t prepared for an unwanted sunrise coming to visit my life again so soon. But again, it came – six months after my maternal grandfather passed, his wife joined him. This too was sudden and unexpected. And while I had the chance to visit with her in the hospital, I did not get the chance to make her bread pudding as I had promised. The longing to have everyone and everything freeze in time, so I could catch my breath, was painfully strong. At least I had the solace of knowing she had lived a long and beautiful life. All of my grandparents were amazing people, who had lived full and happy lives.
But last night, a very dear friend lost her husband and son in a terrible accident. I wish I had the power to reverse time for her, or at very least stop the march of days, so she can have a moment to breathe. But I don’t. I only have the ability to pray for her, to mourn with her, and to help her anyway I can. She is living my worst nightmare. I love my friend and her husband and children. And in a breathtakingly heart-wrenching way, I am reminded how fragile life is.
I know from my experience that nothing can be said to help with the pain. The fact that the world keeps spinning seems unfair. How can other people just keep living their lives? I want to add something here, but I really can’t find the words. May peace fill the hearts of everyone who is mourning now.
The family has set up a GoFund Me account to pay for this double funeral. Please, help in any way you can.