I wish I could get past the hurt that Aaron's brother did by not coming to Nora's funeral. I can't. And the pain is just as raw today as it was 18 months ago. A Little Pregnant tweeted a post from The Spectrum this morning, and I want everyone I know to read it, and understand how important it is to show up.
Please read this.
The quote that hit me was this "You show up," my mother told me, a little lost in the memory. "It's awkward and uncomfortable but you just. show. up."
And of course, she is mentioning just how hard it to know what to do when someone dies. Do you show up? Bring food? Flowers? Hug? Not hug? Laugh? Cry? Because it's is awkward. But this is the time in life where you suck it up and go to the wake and be there and flounder and find what you can do to help in what is usually an awful time. And know that you are doing your best. Even if it's just walking over, mumbling 'I'm sorry' and giving a hug. It shows you care.
For me, it goes a step further. No matter what other bullshit is going on in your relationship with that person, if someone you love has a death in the family - you show up. You support them. You let them know, no matter what else may be going on in the background, that your love for them in that moment is more important than anything else right then.
We didn't get that from Aaron's brother. And it hurts deeply. It still saddens me. That something as tragic as our daughters death was made that much worse by something as easy to do as just showing up. He didn't have to be center stage and hold Aaron's hand during the memorial service, but if he was just THERE it would have made a huge difference. It would have shown he loved Aaron unconditionally. But he didn't.
Please please please, if you question what to do when someone dies, think of this post and just show up. It means more that you can even imagine.