At the core, we all have holes.
Some are larger than others, and while most can eventually be filled in, some remain empty. My paralegal lost her daughter in August just after childbirth. The sorrow was unimaginable, and we did all that we could for her, but nothing we did or said could fill the hole of the loss of her only child. Her daughter left behind a husband and three children, five, two, and a newborn. Our paralegal was out for three months, and our practice slowed in her understandable absence. More than anything, I missed my friend, and I looked forward to the day that she returned.
She came back at the start of January, less than complete and not totally present, but she was managing better than I could have. My job (self-appointed) was to keep a smile on her face, to listen when she needed it, and to offer a shoulder to cry on in the moments when she needed to be vulnerable. I brought her lunch, and we joked with each other, superficially, but still she laughed. It was a little thing, but it was a bit of normalcy.
On Saturday tragedy struck again. The baby stopped breathing, and could not be resuscitated. He was gone, and so too was she once more. I could not do a thing but tell her that I loved her and that I was here for her – howsoever she needed me. I cannot imagine the gaping hole that this tragedy tore asunder, ripping the partially healed one of her daughter’s death back open to the elements. I don’t know if it will ever heal.
My own holes are filled for the most part. There are still remnants of them, cavities and interstices that remind me of the voids that were once a part of my life. I do not dwell on them as a practice, but at times like these, I am reminded of the grace and providence that allowed me to see the faintest hint of light peeking through the chasms.
We all have holes at our core. Some will be filled by time, but the unimaginable others, I just don’t know.
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