Thursday, 08 March 2012
Recently, two friends have lost a parent to Cancer. While I can only imagine the pain of loss when a parent moves on -- I still have both of mine -- I'm sure the sorrow must be great. I thought I'd share a story a coworker, Fred, told me a few days ago. He told me of the day his son was born. This was his first child, and he was only 20. He was so happy, he felt on top of the world.
He got on the elevator as he was leaving the hospital. On the way down, the elevator came to a stop before reaching the lobby floor. Two distraught women boarded, both crying quite hard.
He began a conversation with them, asking what was wrong. The younger woman told him that her husband, the older woman's son, had just passed from Cancer. He tried to console them as best he could.
While embracing these women, strangers, he began to think. He said to the woman that he thought maybe they had it backwards. He explained that his son was just born, and how exhilarated he felt moments ago. It occurred to him that his son had a long life ahead of him, that much of that life would be suffering. Losing loved ones, broken hearts; all the hardships we all go through during our life.
He pointed out to the ladies that he understood their pain of loss, but that their husband and son's suffering was over. That he was in a better place, where there was no more pain. That he was looking down on them, hoping their sorrow would not last too long.
Both of the women's crying eased. They embraced him, and thanked him for this outside view. He told me that when the elevator reached to lobby, he was crying over the worry of his son's future, and both of the women were consoling him!
Now Fred is a pretty devout Christian, very active in his church. I assume, after hearing this story, he has always had a strong faith. I do not share his faith, and guess I am best described as agnostic, although raised Catholic. His story struck me as wonderful and true, even though I do not share his strength of faith. I don't know if this story helps anyone else, but felt a need to share it. I hope it offers a different perspective.
After reading this story, how has your perspective changed on loss? Have you recently lost a loved one, or gained a new one?