I received word that a mother at our parish lost her infant daughter during delivery.
I'm from a large parish with a variety of mass times, so I didn't know her, but, I was asked to contact her to offer comfort.
When we lost Mara in an ectopic and then again when Sweet Baby left our home, love met our grief in the form of casseroles. Love showed up as a meal I didn't have to find the energy to prepare. Love showed up in the face of every woman who crossed my threshold with an offering of time and caring.
So, I did what that love has shown me and made a casserole. LB added an offering of rice crispy treats to the mix.
Then, like generations before us have done, I brought the family a meal. I visited for a few minutes, hugged, and shared in their grief.
As I went through the rest of my day, the weight of their loss stayed heavy on my heart, as if I'd taken a little bit home with me.
Then, I thought, perhaps I had. Perhaps that's what we're supposed to do in times of loss. Chip off a small piece of the grief and replace it with kindness and caring.
None of us can fully remove the weight of loss, but we can each pick up a pebble from the boulder and share the weight, in some small measure.
I can carry this mother in my heart as she grieves, and perhaps my small offering will be a kindness that brings comfort, such as I've experienced before.
In our modern and convenient world, it can be so easy to avoid pain and discomfort, but we were not made for comfort.
This week, more moms will be reaching out with meals to bring a small light to a dark place. I pray this mother feels this surround her as she faces a long and painful way forward.
I'll keep my pebble of her pain, and like a rosary bead, hold it when I pray. In this moment, I am reminded, we were not made for solitude. We were not made to grieve alone.