What do you say to a nine-year-old girl who just lost her mother to a long battle with cancer?
That’s the thought that filled my head as Maggie raced towards me as I entered the room of her mother’s wake.
Maggie is an energetic, acrobatic girl who loves competitive dance, gymnastics and playing softball. I know her as my daughter’s good friend for the past 4-5 years and from my time coaching her on a girls softball team with my daughter.
She ran to me like my own child would.
She surged without hesitation, jumping into my arms as if I could swallow her up and insulate her, from the cold reality that surely engulfs her broken heart.
I recently lost my dog and thought how sad that was, but this is a tragic human loss that words can’t describe. Why should a girl grow up without her mom? What is her fate?
When I lost my dad a year ago I was 49 and understood age and circumstances can take those we love. But she’s only nine and won’t be able to experience some things a child should get to do with her mom.
Jerry Lewis, a celebrated comedian who did wonderful work using his notoriety to raise billions for the Muscular Dystrophy Fund, also died recently. He was 91. We don’t like to see these people leave us, but death doesn’t discriminate by age or any other factor. We understand his death, but not that of Maggie’s mom.
Sure we can reason these things in our head, and we must if we are to function, but it is just incomprehensible to me that this lively girl won’t get to cuddle with the one who understood her best and loved her the most.
But Maggie taught me something.
She didn’t cry in our embrace or say she was angry at the world. Instead she spoke calmly and clearly and allowed me to pay my respects and then transition into our usual banter about her summer and her upcoming dance competition. She will persevere and live her life and take things one day at a time, though her world is surely to change and challenge her along the way in ways most people would never give thought to or have to deal with.
We should all be as courageous and playful as Maggie. Sometimes kids lead the adults and I hope this is one of those times.
Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog 2017©. Born and raised in Brooklyn, now resides in Westchester. Named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs