There is a jagged hole in my heart that over the years,
the waves of goodness from family and friends will
hopefully soften those edges.
But there will always be a hole in my heart. William Petit
William Petit’s wife and two daughters were tragically and brutally murdered in their Cheshire, Connecticut home. The loss of a family is something no one should ever endure. As I watched an interview with William Petit I was heart-broken.
How does a small community recover from such a horrific crime?
How do you express what you are feeling when you read about the murders?
How does a father move forward without his daughters and his wife?
How do you fill the emptiness in your heart?
A loss that great never leaves you. Sometimes it appears that life resumes and moves on, but under the surface, in your heart…there is always a hole. The quote above has sat heavy with me since I heard it.
People often can’t formulate words to bring comfort. They may say, time heals all wounds. But when this father said these words, it showed the depth of the pain and the emptiness that will forever exist. It may eventually be less hurtful when remembering your loved ones, but it still hurts. The goodness from family and friends will help, but not remove the hole.
We learn to deal with the emptiness, we remain steadfast in the faith that we will one day be together again. This season, many of our family and friends may be celebrating an empty holiday, missing a piece of this heart.
I remember the first Christmas without my father. He passed away in April and as I was trimming the tree I broke down. I felt the emptiness, I recognized the hole. But my father was in Florida for years and years of Christmases, so this reaction was unexpected. I usually did not see him for the holidays, but I knew that year everything would be different. I especially lift up my cousin’s son, Michael Olivieri who I wrote about in June. Mikey was killed in Iraq and the hole is forever present in the hearts of our family.
In life we grieve for lost loved ones, we have joy with each new life, and if we are really fortunate, when it is time for us to reflect on our own lives we will have experienced more joy than grief.
Family, friends and prayers will help to get you through the emptiness.
For those who are experiencing a loss this past year, reach out to those around you and embrace their generosity and love.
For those you know that experienced a loss, reach out and lift them up in prayer and community, they need you know more than you know.
May the love of the holidays and friends fill your emptiness with waves of goodness.