TheFreckledFox, my unknown neighbor, and all the others

I know I’m posting a little more often right now, but I don’t feel like I can put this one off, and scheduling it for later just doesn’t seem like the thing to do.

I have been living the last couple weeks in growing solemness.

A little over a week ago, I learned about TheFreckledFox, her husband’s losing fight with cancer, and their 5 young children. Today I learned he passed away, and even though I’m a complete stranger, I’m feeling it in ways I didn’t expect. I’ve heard other cancer stories, and I’ve prayed for the people in them, but for some reason I really felt this one.

Perhaps it’s in part due to the neighbor of ours I don’t know. Three evenings ago I braved the rain to harvest snap peas from the garden, thinking something casual like, “What a nice addition to the dinner salad.” I heard voices coming over the fence, and I saw the grandfather talking to who I think was the granddaughter (maybe high school age?). Another young woman was there, and she seemed tense, steeling herself for something.

A moment later the granddaughter erupted into the most forlorn wails of utter anguish, and I nearly dropped all my snap peas in the wave of agony I felt from her. Something had happened to her mother, and all my mind could manage was, “Pain that stark can only come from death.”

I don’t know that for sure, but as I walked back to the house I sent up prayers for the family, because whatever happened, they needed comfort.

I want to hold my children tighter. I want to keep the Dearliest in sight. I want to tell my dear friends and family all the things I love about them before “I’ll do it tomorrow” becomes “Sorry, too late.”

Life is precious, and when I think about friends who have recently (or even not so recently) lost their loved ones, my heart aches a little differently now. I know I cannot imagine what it must be like to lose a spouse, a child, or a parent, but I do understand a little about emotional grief. As I grow older, no doubt I will grow in understanding too.

And, even though this post is mostly about the pain of losing, I cannot end it without mentioning the amazing strength I see in TheFreckledFox. It’s a strength not her own, and I see the way God has held her hand and is providing consolation and the courage to carry on. I see it in the blogs of other women who have lost their husbands, children, in the faces of men who’ve lost their wives, and I rest a little easier. There is a hope, and a faith, and a belief, and we know death is but a physical thing. Our lost loved ones are with our Heavenly Father, free from the pain, and one day we will see them again.

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One thought on “TheFreckledFox, my unknown neighbor, and all the others

  1. Thank you, Dear. I’m glad you didn’t put it off. Your thoughts do resonate with me very much, and make me strangely glad. Because this sharing of grief we do is part of our humanity, it’s evidence of our heart’s tenderness. There’s no doubt that with pain and grief, God gives grace, He gives Himself, though it/He is not always discernible. We have to press in. May the Lord show mercy as He loves to do, and sustain those in the recent situations that have come to your attention.

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