Sunday, April 7, 2013

the lone black dress.

we were coming off the fastest moving experience: boxes in seven cars, twelve people, two trips, two hours. boom. we were ready to relax with the rest of the pizza and some board games.

we walked in the house to find her in her puddle of tears. she could barely breathe and the one with her didn't know what to do.

i don't know where i learned it; probably a combination of watching my mom and training in trauma. after she told us her dad had passed we all stood there, frozen and awkward. the thoughts of what do we say? what do we do? ran through our minds as we stood at the top of the stairs. i sprang into action and started directing traffic. "we need a one-way ticket out tonight; if the airlines give you any trouble, someone call kimberly." i demanded. "tell her- don't ask her- to drink this water." "what's the weather in rhode island for the next five days?" i asked.

we took turns rubbing her back as she sat doubled over. we kept packing and guessing what you think one needs to attend their father's funeral. i choked up as i looked in her closet to find the lone black dress; she's worn this dress many times before but never to represent mourning.

she soon departed for her flight and we gathered in the kitchen. our energy shifted so quickly from joy to sadness; a fresh chapter for friends in their new home and a daunting chapter for another friend as she moves into deep loss and mourning. i sat down and as we prayed, i asked God to give her rest. the shock she's in will only drain; any extra rest would be vital. my love reminded me of the value of our community-- that we could be present and support, that we arrived when we did, that we leaned in instead of standing frozen.

i cannot imagine wearing that lone black dress at twentyfive. i cannot imagine ever wearing it.

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