Today we went to a memorial service for a family friend. This young woman was 34 years old and died of cardiac arrest due to a recently diagnosed genetic defect. She was the mom of three young kids and 7 and a half months pregnant with baby number 4. It is tragic beyond comprehension. She was always vibrant, full of life, active, a runner, the mom who was jumping off the high dive with the kids, or swinging off the rope swing into the river below, with her beautiful long blonde hair flying out behind her.
The service today was filled with people who love she and her family. Hundreds and hundreds of people. Standing room only. The family are long time community and church members.
During the service the pastor said something, many things actually, but this is what I have been thinking about all afternoon. The pastor said, "We aren't created to be alone. We aren't meant to live in isolation....we are meant to be a part of a community, a family."
I started to think about this whole dynamic of isolating vs allowing
hoards of people into our lives to see our frailties, to share our joys
and our sorrows.....to walk with us and us with them. I saw something beautiful today and we wondered who would surround us in our time of need? What have we created here? The dad assured me I would have loads of people around me. lol
We have had years in our lives where we were a part of a church community and it was wonderful, for the most part, until it wasn't anymore and we walked away from that life. When things began spiraling with our girl, we isolated further....because really, in all honesty, who wants to deal with all of the questions and pitying looks and worst of all, the judgements. So we hid. We did....I will admit it.We stuck to ourselves, we kept the lines open with a handful of close friends, but other than that, we let the rest go. For the most part, it was all I could do just to manage the necessities of my daily life most of the time. Forget "doing lunch" or gossiping or shopping or getting manis and pedis.
First of all, it felt too risky to let everyone see what we were going through.....I know....says the woman who blogs every gory detail of her life for the world to read. But you all, except for those of you who are also my real life friends and my FB friends...the rest of you are faceless, anonymous. Its one thing to share with people I don't know. Quite another to stand toe to toe and see the looks of disappointment, sorrow, or worse, have to listen to the well meaning advice.....uh yeah, don't you think I have already wondered about my discipline methods, or if I had been more "consistent" if all of this would have been, could have been... avoided?
Secondly, it made me think of all of you.....and the anonymous community you have given to me. Its been a safe place to connect anonymously...although my name really is Annette, so I am not very anonymous. But I thank you for reading here and for commenting and for telling me I'm not a bad mom and for letting me know that I am not alone.
Today I wondered if we made a mistake in stepping back and focusing on our own lives. I don't know that we were capable of anything else at that point...but what I do know is that, at least in our situation, isolation was a result of fear. Its just another symptom of a fear driven life. Afraid of rejection, afraid of being judged, afraid of being hurt more than we already were. However, in pulling back we also shut the door on all of the chances and the opportunities for something good to happen! Fear can be such a killer of great potential.
Obviously I can't change the past....but maybe today I can begin to make choices to let people in more, to be more community minded vs. holding at a distance.
What about all of you? Is isolating during crisis universal? I have a feeling it may be a common response.
Ok, I'm off to work, then tomorrow morning I am meeting some friends to do the Apple Hill run. A community effort to support Little Ones school. A good beginning! lol