My best friend's husband's sister, Carly, and my daughter, Katy, are the same age (25). My friend and I coached a competitive dance team for 13 years (a part time job for both of us, to go along with our full-time jobs) and the girls grew up together and were star performers on our team.
When the girls were about 8 years old, Carly found her father lying on her living room floor due to a fatal heart attack. I took Katy to the funeral to be with Carly and then we went back to their house afterwards. It was a sad occasion, especially because Carly's father was so young.
But even during that kind of sadness, life goes on for resilient 8 year olds. I will never forget watching out their picture window, which looked onto the backyard. Katy and Carly jumped gleefully on her trampoline, while the mourners inside brought casseroles and their deepest sympathies.
Carly didn't know it, but that day her world was spinning completely out of control. And it hasn't been back on track since. Carly's mother never recovered from the loss of her husband and the wonderful life they'd made. Her Mom lost her job, their family business, and somewhere along the way, her will to live.
This Saturday I'll be taking Katy to another funeral.
Carly found her mother's body in the same spot in the living room where she found her Dad. But this time it wasn't because of heart failure...or maybe it was. The suicide note beside her said she loved her family, but didn't want to be a burden to them anymore. She was lonely and wanted to go to heaven to be with her husband.