Every so often someone comes along to restore your faith in humanity.
About three weeks ago, my sons’ football coach approached my husband to say that he was very sorry that we had lost Clea and that he hadn’t known. He followed up this conversation with a very heartfelt email saying that he felt stupid not knowing and that he was sorry for being six years too late. He said a number of other kind and brave things about us and Clea.
I’m not sure how he had found out but he had done his homework. We had recently become friends on FaceBook so maybe he had wondered why there were three children in my profile photograph. Or maybe he had clicked on the bad video link of my husband and I reading my husband’s poetry at the National Multicultural Festival and wondered why we would read a poem about our dead daughter. However this man found out, he followed up his discovery by searching for more and more information. He had read my blog and he had read my husband’s poetry (and he’ll probably read this).
But he didn’t leave it there as most people would. He actually reached out to us to show that he cared. He didn’t have to do that and many people, I’m sure, do find out about Clea and leave it at that. Their excuse is that they do no want to upset us or bring back bad memories. Believe me, and I’ve said this before, no one could upset us more than we are and those memories live with us on a daily basis.
I don’t expect everyone to know about Clea and I don’t think anyone is stupid for not knowing. I did mention Clea to a man at work recently, assuming that he did know, and he was very shocked. One should never assume.
I am very grateful that this man was brave, that he did face up to the nightmare of our lives and that he didn’t shy away from his own fears – the fear of our pain and how he would cope with that pain. That is everyone’s fear when they confront us with our pain. No one likes to face that fear. I wouldn’t want to.
I have lived with this pain for 339 weeks. Sometimes I cope OK. Sometimes I really, really do not cope at all. At present, I wouldn’t say that I was coping at all. My ability to cope changes almost daily.
But I am grateful for people like this man. People like him help me to cope just a little bit better.