My heart hurts. When I logged on to Facebook today, the first post I saw was about the passing of a friend's mother. Her parents had been visiting and on their way back were in a head-on collision. Her father and the other driver walked away unharmed. Her mother was killed. As I read my friend's words, I felt such sorrow for her loss. She is a member of the LDS Church and both she and her parents have an understanding of the plan of salvation which includes eternal life where families are forever. And I know she has felt some peace as the Holy Ghost has comforted her over the last two days. But I also sense her pain which only time can ease.
I never met her parents. I haven't seen her in close to ten years. We lost touch then found each other on Facebook last year. She doesn't post often and we haven't talked personally. I couldn't understand why this impacted me so much. But each time I receive a notification that somebody else has commented on her post, the tears well up anew and the heart clenches tightly for just a second before I remember to breathe.
In a consequent post, she mentioned her pain for her father who has been left to grieve with no more understanding of why his wife is no longer there and he himself was spared. She mentioned that his password to log on to his computer is "ilovemywife". And I am sad for his loss and I grieve for him and I do not even know him, nor is he even aware of my presence on this earth.
I'd like to believe that my heart is just that tender. And perhaps it is. I have been known to tear up over a sad country song and a Folger's coffee commercial. But I realize that part of my sadness is selfish. I am sad that my own relationship with my parents is strained. Not that there is any anger or hurt, it's just that we're not that close. I am not anxious to load up my crew and drive the 8 hours it takes to go visit them on a regular basis. Raising my sister's children leaves them tied to schedules that most grandparents are free of. So it has been over a year since we have seen each other. While my father sends out a weekly email of what's happened in their lives, we haven't actually spoken since Thanksgiving. I don't recall why I didn't talk to them at Christmas, but it didn't happen and it wasn't a big deal. And as I felt my friend's heartache, I realized that if I had received news that either or both of my parents had passed, my reaction would be far more business and very little emotion.
I think I'll call home.