When Bill called me on Christmas night I knew that when Sean passed I wanted to be there for both he and his son. I knew that Sean would appreciate my support of his dad, and I wanted to do that for Bill, Sean and his family. My own grief experiences could be helpful in supporting him, yet I knew it would be a difficult and painful weekend.

I knew Sean and was deeply saddened by his death. I knew his loss would hit me and bring up alot of emotion. I wasn’t prepared for some of what I’d feel. A couple moments hit me particularly hard.

After the funeral we were at Sean’s mom’s house and we were looking at pictures of Sean when someone opened up a picture on the computer taken at the hospital. In a split second it was as if time had reversed three and a half years and I was thrown back into the pain of the twelve days I spent at my father’s bedside praying he would live. I had to close my eyes and look away. I couldn’t handle the painful reminder of my own loss in that moment. It was enough to deal with Sean’s and the pain of his family grieving so deeply.

At the funeral his sister was deeply emotional. She’d been the closest to Sean and she was overcome with her pain. Hearing her deep deep pain reminded me of the pain I’d been in when my father and mother died. I could hardly bear that she was feeling such a deep loss. I wished I could ease all their pain. Yet I knew they had to find their way to healing just as I had done with support, love and the healing of time.

As a survivor of grief I knew I could only offer my love, support and compassion for their loss. I knew that real healing would come over time.They remain in my prayers each day, and in my heart and I pray they are comforted in some small way by the thoughts I send to them.