The Orange Room

orange room

Another BabySafe blog. I’ve started and restarted this entry probably ten times over the last week, and before I even get started, I know my words will never ever be enough.  Every time I close my eyes, I’m back there.  And I only wish my prayers were stronger… 


My name is Lynn, and in this moment, that’s all I can really remember.  It’s as though every piece of me has been stripped away in this second, and for the first time, I come face to face with the truth – there are no words I can offer.  No perfectly turned phrase that will dull the ache of this moment.

I am new here.  A stranger oddly welcome in the midst of a family grieving.  I can feel it in the air when I walk in, a metallic tang that creaks with anger and grief and the bitterness of Why now?  These are the emotions the world spends their entire life screaming to avoid.  And right now, it feels as though the rest of the world has screamed away from us – recoiling in fear that if they dare look us in the face, that somehow our sorrow will morph into their own, our sadness will infect them and taint them with the taste they’ve longed to forget.

Death has visited here.  

And I – the stranger from so far – am welcomed in to witness the day.

I want nothing more than to turn the day inside out.  My heart on my sleeve, a family newly stitched in.  I will remember today for the rest of my life. Their names will find their ways into my prayers.  My heart is still bleeding for them.  And for a moment, I long to take their grief as my own, holding it for them for a moment.  Two. Ten.  The respite they’re searching for will not come today.

If only I was strong enough to bring it to them.

In the meantime, I will hold them.  I will stare straight into their eyes, a stranger welcomed in.  I will witness their soul-rending pain, acknowledge it, bear them up in it.  I will not look away. Nothing I give will be enough.  But maybe – somewhere – it’s important to know they are not alone.

Today, this family survived.

And in the quiet, a song plays.  Freedom reigns in this place… 

Today is not for always.  

Today will mark them, define this part of their lives.  They will remember the weight of the wispy clouds above.  The sound of the bird.  The chilled air that deadens so much. But now is not forever.

And in this bright orange room – I begin to understand.  We are all here together.  A tiny hand slips into mine.  And I breathe in.

Not all is lost today.  Some, but not all.

I only wish I had more to give.

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