Thursday, September 25, 2008

Have You Ever Been There?

Have you ever been there?  Right there?  Standing right there, next to someone when they get the news that a loved one has died?  What did you do?  What can you do?  Nothing, really...nothing that really helps, anyway.

Tonight at closing, as we were all walking to the front to get ready to set the alarm and leave the store, one of my employees was on her cell phone.  She stopped me and told me she wouldn't be able to come to work for a few days because she just learned that her mother had died.  Just then.  Right that very moment she had just learned.  She stood in shock for another moment or two, then collapsed on the floor, crying hysterically.  Of course...of course...what else is there to do?  This is exactly the right time for hysterical crying.   

I got on the floor with her and held her shoulders while she cried, the person on the other end of the cell phone call just waiting, I guess.

There are no words of comfort in that situation, so I said nothing, or maybe I said something unimportant, I don't remember exactly.  It doesn't matter.

This is not the first time I was right there, and it won't be the last, I'm sure.  But at least I was there.  I can only hope it is better that someone be there at that time than no one at all.  Maybe?  I don't know, maybe not.

Have you ever been there?


Gail said...

Yes and it's a helpless feeling. I've also been on the other side, the one receiving the bad news. Tell your co-worker that if she needs anything, to call-there's really nothing else you can do at this point-and when she does call, follow through.

Anonymous said...

Her mom dying at this time must have been totally unexpected, the poor thing! :-(

You did a wonderful thing by comforting her, showing her you care!

I've never "been there" but imagine I'd probably do the same, help her any way I could!


CatBoy said...

I was there once. My friend Heidi who lived with us after graduation had a friend that died in a plane crash- her mother called to tell Heidi and she wasn't home so I took a message (can you imagine?). When she got home my sister told her, with my brother, I and my future S-I-L all there for support. It was pretty awful.

You did good. There are no words that say as much as simply holding someone when they receive news as horrific as that. I echo your thoughts, no one should get that news alone.

Beanns37 said...

I haven't been there but I was the person hearing the news on the phone when my dad passed away five years ago. I had a roommate at the time and like your coworker I just found myself on the floor without really knowing how I got there, crying. My roommate/friend was really sweet, although she didn't know what to do, just patting me and being there helped.

Spidey said...

i have gotten the news, and had to tell the news. it is never easy no matter what end of it you are on.