"How can you expect a man who's warm to understand one who's cold?"
I'm sure Solzhenitsyn had deeper and more specific reasons for writing this, but this excerpt struck me when I first read One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovitch. There are some things that a person just can't know unless they have experienced them. Grief, for example. Especially a complicated grief like ours.
A friend and I were talking this week about sympathy vs. empathy. While both can be comforting, the latter is especially so; when you feel like an alien in the throng, having someone beside you who you know gets it...well, it really means a lot. When we were first thrust onto this path, I felt so incredibly alone, but now I know that there are so many like us trying to find their footing and to make sense of life in the face of tragedy.
Today I am thankful for the loss moms I have met in my internet travels these past six months. Though we are not in daily contact, I always appreciate them reaching out to see how I am doing, and I have appreciated hearing their stories and watching them work through similar feelings and troubles. Some of them have taken the brave step of becoming pregnant again and I admire them so very much. They are so strong!
I would be remiss in not also mentioning the handful of friends who, while they do not understand our grief firsthand, have not shied away from it. Those friends are a breath of fresh air. I know that it is not easy to find the balance, so those who do...we soak that in.