When my daughter (now 30) was 17 years old, her dear friend was hit by a train and killed. Her entire youth was spent playing sports with this girl. They were truly the home town heroes in every sport they ever played. There was not a week when their names were not in the local paper.
Now the shock wave hit our home town. Stunned by a moment of shock and the clock could not be turned back.
The young girl's mother did something that brought wonder to my daughter and I. My daughter went to visit her shortly after the Funeral and Steph's mom invited her to pick something from Steph's room. When they entered the room Steph's mom invited her to sit on the bed and she began to read her daughter's favorite story book to my daughter. Her loving actions conveyed so much love and understanding to my daughter and they both began the long road of grief and healing together.
Steph's mom reached out to all of the kids in a way I have never seen before. She had them over, welcomed them and offered them food and fellowship often. She invited them to tell stories, to laugh and cry with her. She let them know by being with them that their grief and their laughter was both welcome and okay.
I saw this lovely vital woman go to the darkest corners of heart and mind in her sorrow and come back again. The road to her healing was paved with her own love.