Grief Has No Distance

It’s been a few weeks since my last post. I returned to the states, originally planned for a joyful and exciting homecoming, that turned quickly south with the passing of my 6-week old great-niece Lillian Taylor to angiosarcoma, an incredibly rare cancer of the blood vessel lining. The grief of especially her parents, along with grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and family friends along with a host of social media support is still something I have a hard time accepting.

I have a difficult time suffering emotional turmoil whether it be myself or someone close. I typically try to play the role of listener and provide as much honest insight to the situation that I can by believing in the faith of a higher power and that life is sometimes out of our control. Being strong-minded and seeing a silver lining, however small it can be, is just the only way I can put this crazy life into perspective. This doesn’t mean I don’t let myself feel the negativity and graveness of the situation. I get angry with the unknown whys. I get incredibly sad to think of my niece going through the role of planned motherhood and having it suddenly taken away from her and her husband. I hurt to think of the future loss and the complete unfairness to lose an infant to a one in a million disease. I ache at the missed chance to hold that little baby and tell her I love her.

My small silver linings, in the unbearable sadness, allows me to see the strength only a mother and father in this situation can demonstrate. I see the abundance of love families can provide in the darkest times that may not be felt or heard when times are good. I see unspeakable support through the power of prayer from strangers near and far with an online community. I have hope that the doctors can take something away from the rarity of Lily’s sickness and put forth research into combating the disease in the future.

My time home was spent mostly with family and friends, as the homecoming should be. Of course, with the circumstances, I lost time with others that I had hoped to see and for this, I ask forgiveness. However, my trip home allowed me to be a tourist in Philadelphia, go to a beach within 40 minutes of Boston and get a lobster roll, run on my old stomping grounds in Southie, drink and reminisce with friends I haven’t seen in 7 months and feel the summer sun that is so desperately needed back in Europe.

This was a bittersweet time. There are still no words and grief will travel.

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