Mike's dad died on Thursday, June 25th.
Arthur was playing in the front yard with a tennis ball and a baseball glove when I told him that I had to go to the hospital because Mike's dad was going to die.
He looked up at me with those sensitive blue eyes of his, eyebrows crinkled, and I thought he might cry.
"Mike's dad is going to die?" he asked.
"Yes," I responded simply, trying to meet his open gaze.
"....My dad died too. .......That is sad," he said wistfully, as if he were harking back to the days of yore when his own dad died. "Mike will need a hug when he gets home."
Then he promptly went back to his tennis ball and continued with whatever game he had invented that day.
Mike's dad would have been 80 in December, Arthur's dad died 4 days before his 40th birthday. Mike is 46, Arthur was 5 months. Two completely different situations but a common bond all the same, losing a father.
I was recently invited to a dinner for a group of widows here in my neighborhood. This group has been meeting for a couple of years and I am honored to be included. I was telling a friend (non-widow) about the group and how excited I was to be asked, especially since I am not officially a widow anymore.
She thought that being a widow was something like being a veteran, we may not be fighting the same war any longer, but we still have a common bond, just like Arthur and Mike.
All loss is different and nobody grieves the same way, but there are similarities. Anyone who lives long enough will be a veteran of the grieving war. No matter who you lose or when it happens there is a common thread, the finality of death.
I think Arthur said it best.........it is sad, and everyone should get a hug.
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