We took dinner to friends today who recently suffered the devastating loss of their patriarch.
I asked Katie to make a sympathy card to leave with the soup and salad (and Klondike bars, because after salad you need some ice cream). I gave her no other direction. Making cards is kind of her thing.
Inside the card she wrote, "We carry you in our hearts."
I blinked back tears as I asked her how she decided on those words.
"I thought and thought about it for a long time," she answered quietly.
This is one of the many legacies of living in crisis while surrounded by love. Katie's memories of Steve's illness and the weeks after his death are fuzzy at best, but she holds tight to the comfort she felt while being loved on and doted on by our friends and family members.
She knows what it feels like to be carried in someone's heart -- a hundred times over.
Cooper, Katie and I know well the comfort of a meal delivered just in time for dinner, of a warm hug, of a note that includes a funny story or inspiring Scripture. Food, an embrace, a few words -- they certainly don't fix anything or take away the pain. But those gestures of compassion ease the burden a tiny bit and make the heartache a little more bearable.
We can't defeat death here on earth, but we can sit with those who are suffering. We can hold hands with those who are grieving. We can carry people in our hearts and make the dark days a tiny bit lighter.