Just days after my parents died, I made a list of all the people I knew that had also lost a parent too soon.
It seems like such a strange thing to do, right?
I suppose it made me feel a little better and not so alone.
These were friends that will understand what I’m going through, I thought. They will be able to offer me some magical healing words of comfort for surely they know something I don’t.
My grief was fresh and I was searching for answers to questions I had not quite been able to articulate yet.
There were 12 names on my list.
12 friends that share this unending sadness.
13 souls gone.
Some of friendships became stronger because of this new awful thing we had in common, or at least I felt closer to these people and even got a few of them to talk with me about their grief.
For some, I believe the pain was (and is) buried so deep and is too raw that there is no conversation about their loss, let alone mine. I respect and love them regardless.
There was one name included on the list, a friend of Todd’s that I had never even met. Karen. She was the only other person I knew of that has lost both of her parents tragically and at the same time.
Karen became my hero that first year I learned to live in a world without my mother and father, spending hours on the phone with me talking me through the unbearable pain and trials and tribulations of being an executor of an estate. She was a year ahead of me in the process and eons wiser in my mind. I will forever be grateful to her.
As odd as it may be, I continue to add names to my list and recently there was one more.
We are all related in sorrow.