The husband of one of the women in my new mom’s group was in a fatal car accident last Friday, and a small collection of us just attended the wake, cycling briefly in and then out with our offspring strapped to our bodies by way of various slings and contraptions. Our friend was tearful but resilient beside her husband’s casket, beautiful and strong even 5 days after his death. It was Brady, the newly fatherless 4-month-old, bedecked in gray wool pants and matching vest, who made us all cry with his quiet, wide eyes.
Loss makes life look different, even for only a little while, and even if it’s not your loss. As we stood in line, our children all quiet for once, in the face of grief, we cried silent tears of fear and sorrow: not only for our friend, but for ourselves. We cried for our own real or imagined fears that we would someday lose the ones we love, that we would someday be left alone. We cried for the fatherless child among us, and the possability that someday our own children may be fatherless.
Charlie slept throughout the ordeal, and then in the car all the way home. Now I sit in the driveway, not moving her for fear of waking her. Her face is peaceful as she sleeps, and sometimes even a little peace is too precious to disturb.