Today I went with my daughters to attend the funeral of one of their classmates. They attended, I stayed in the car (per request of the eldest) to wait for them.
As a parent it breaks my heart to see them lose yet another class mate (this makes 3 in 5 yrs). I try to balance my need to protect my children from the brunt of life's harsher realities with the realization that they have to experience them in order to cope with them. I won't know for a long time if I've succeeded, if ever really. I just know that when my children hurt. I hurt because I can't fix it for them. Kisses on skinned hearts don't make everything better. I can be there for them, but they have to find the strength inside themselves to square their shoulders and push through the pain and loss to the life lessons that lay on the other side of it.
Also, I grieve for the parents who have lost a child. Regardless of the circumstances, losing a child is heartbreaking. I live with the fear that someday that will be my child. I cannot put myself in their shoes, I cannot fathom the hole that is left. Just trying to imagine it takes my breath away.
My heart aches today.