Before I had someone close to me die, I never knew what to say to people who suffered the loss of a loved one, so I was silent.
I'd think about sending a card and probably didn't do that either.
Then my father died (over 17 years ago). His memorial service was in Texas and after returning home to my family in Maryland, I had to jump back in to the daily responsibilities of being a wife and a mother.
I wanted the world to slow down or stop.
But the world kept on moving forward.
There were days when I seemed to be living in a dream-like state. Where I'd think that I should call my dad and then remember that I'd never pick up the phone and talk to him again. I'd have to remind myself that he was dead.
During those foggy days, I received sympathy cards from friends and members of my church. The cards provided me with something tangible from people who acknowledged that my life wasn't "normal" and everything wasn't "fine." I still have every one of the cards.
From my father's death, I learned what to say and how to send sympathy cards to people who are grieving the death of a loved one.
So here is where the new experience comes in...I know you were wondering when I'd get around to that.
While leaving church, I was speaking to Linda and asked how married life was going with her daughter. (Over a year ago Linda was in the process of being the Mother-Of-The-Bride and I hadn't seen her since then.) She paused and said the marriage is going well but that her daughter had until recently been pregnant and for no known reason at 28 weeks, the baby died in utero. We spoke for a while outside the church. We hugged and I told her that I'd keep her, her daughter, and son-in-law in my prayers.
I am a card sender and was planning on looking through my stationery to write Linda a note when it occurred to me that I should send her a sympathy card. She is grieving the death of her grandchild.
My hope is that the sympathy card provides Linda comfort knowing that she, her daughter, and son-in-law are being prayed for during their time of mourning.