Today, I am attending the memorial service of another boy born in early September, another boy robbed of so many years by the beast that is leukemia.
Last week, Jodi and I sat with his mother and talked about today’s service. We discussed how to distill an entire life into a eulogy of just fifteen minutes, how to memorialize a sixteen-year-old whose every year is engraved into her heart. It’s an unwelcome task, but it is one of the last acts of love of a bereaved mother.
When her boy died, when we learned that he had peacefully slipped away after he so bravely opted to end his treatment, we knew we would have to welcome her to this wretched club, this sisterhood of mothers in agony, people who know a pain so penetrating, so complete that it should surely kill us.. And we did; we welcomed her with snacks and tears and hugs and the sort of laughter one needs to buoy the heart just a little because one dare not let it sink all at once into the inky, weighty waters of this loss.
I ache for our new member as she walks through this day–the most awful initiation a club ever had. I grieve for her boy and his too-short life, and I grieve for her and the long, long days of missing him.