There is nothing in my life more precious to me than my daughter Presley. Thus, I believe there could be nothing in life more unimaginably painful than the loss of one’s child. Yesterday, many mothers and fathers lost their sons and daughters in the tragic and senseless movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado. And this past year has been marked by the loss of three of my friends’ children – Perry, Sarah, and Sage. I’ve struggled in each tragedy with what to say.
“I’m so sorry for your loss.”
“I hope that your happy memories sustain you through this time of sadness.”
“You’re in my thoughts and prayers.”
But there are no words that can bring comfort to one dealing with a loss so unthinkable. Debby tells me that it’s the “would haves” that are the most difficult to endure. “Perry would have turned 21 yesterday.” “Sage would have laughed so hard at that.” “Sarah would have enjoyed the recital.”
Each of these souls — and all of those who lost their lives in Aurora — would have lived and breathed and laughed and cried today – but didn’t. And no words can change that; nothing can bring these precious people back to their loved ones.
Today, flags all over the country are flying at half staff in honor of the Aurora victims. And today my friend and former client Sasha Stallone will be laying her son Sage to rest. Sage was also a friend and client of mine and I spent many a workout with this wonderful young man. When Presley was born, Sasha shared some wise mothering tips that I have never forgotten. She is a wonderful mother and my heart breaks for her.
There’s a passage from The Little Prince that is particularly appropriate today:
“You – you alone will have the stars as no one else has them…In one of the stars I shall be living. In one of them I shall be laughing. And so it will be as if all the stars were laughing, when you look at the sky at night…You – only you – will have stars that can laugh.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Peace be with you today, Sasha, and with Sarah’s and Perry’s parents and with all the loved ones of the Aurora victims. There are many new stars in the sky today — and in them your precious ones are laughing.