One of my co-workers, who I have only known for a short time, had something terrible happen over the weekend. Her 13-year-old niece was killed in a car accident. I don’t know any details as she is not ready to talk about it, but my heart is aching for her and her entire family.
I feel like I can understand some of the emotions she is going through because I recently had to deal with the sudden death of a family member. I realize that my situation was very different, but the loss you feel at the death of a loved one is something you can’t understand until you have been through it.
When my brother-in-law died, no words could possibly comfort the ache in my heart so I have not attempted to offer my condolences to my co-worker. She is not ready to talk about things and I respect her wishes to keep busy and keep her mind off of it. We all deal with pain in different ways and if keeping busy is what helps her, then I’ll let her be.
I can’t seem to keep my mind off of it though. My thoughts keep going back to my nephews. They are so young and innocent. I can’t even begin to imagine my life without them in it. Since the day they were born, I have loved them as if they were my own. I have cared for them. I have protected them. To think that one day my nephews, or even Zach, might be stripped away from this world as my co-worker’s neice was is beyond what I can fathom.
What makes me hurt the most is knowing that my co-worker was never able to have children of her own. She has made her peace with that, but I know that when I thought I might never be able to have my own kids, the one thing that comforted me was that I knew I had a nephew to give my love to. I wonder if it wasn’t the same for her. I imagine that her niece was a "replacement" of sorts for the children she couldn’t have.