I’m sitting on the bathroom floor with a box of Kleenex and the door closed so that Claire can’t hear me cry. I just read a Facebook post from someone I’ve never met about someone I’ve never met, and yet we’re all family. We share the tragic bond of loving someone with a rare histiocytosis disease. In this case, it cost an innocent two-year old boy his life.
Since joining this online community when our daughter was diagnosed, this group has been a lifeline for me of information and support. Though I have yet to meet any of them in person, I know more about some of them and their families than some I count as friends. We share in each others’ successes and struggles, sharing information and empathy. Occasionally, that also means sharing condolences when someone loses their battle to one of the horrific monsters that can steal our children and loved ones out from under our noses, even as we maintain vigilant watch.
Though in only two months I’ve already seen too many of these tragic endings, the one tonight hit me particularly hard for some reason. Maybe because he was so young and innocent. Maybe because I’ve relaxed a little lately as my daughter’s condition has stabilized somewhat, or maybe because she’s far away in a hospital four states from home. All I know is I went from doing the dishes to sobbing on the bathroom floor for a little boy and a family I’ve never met. My heart breaks for them. I have nothing to offer except my deepest sympathy and a sincere belief that, somehow, their little boy did not live nor die in vain.
“The life of the dead is placed in the memory of the living.” –Marcus Tullius Cicero