My friend lost his son today.
Across the sea last week, a lot of parents lost their sons, too. Their souls are torn.
But here, today, my friend lost his son. The world just became a smaller place.
Pain that we acknowledge happens to other parents when they lose their kids is now his to bear. How do we manage that darkness? How will he? I don't know.
I think of my own kids, and of how I worry every single day.
"Please don't let this happen to my children," I say to myself. To who, I don't know. Just please, I think, don't let it happen.
But it does happen. It happens everyday. Sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, they leave us. Sometimes we know it's coming, this darkness, and other times it envelopes us suddenly, in a rending of metal or a hail of bombs and bullets. We are not ready, ever. There is no ready.
There is no preparation for a hole in your heart the size of your child.
My friend today has memories of diapers and baby food and Christmas mornings and fishing trips, and bedtime stories and popcorn on Friday nights, of school projects and football games. They are all just snapshots now, frozen in time, and they will torture him before they sustain him, because you can't hug a snapshot. You can't say goodbye to a memory.
Soon the memories will bring smiles instead of tears, but they are no comfort now. Now it is enough just to rise to greet the day, the new reality, and put your feet on the ground and one foot in front of the other.
My friend will survive. What choice does he have? What choice do any of us have?
My heart aches for you, my friend, and your family. Peace and happiness will come, but for now, I wish for you the strength to carry you all through this horrific time until the sun's warmth finds you again.