Angels Among Us

Posted: October 16, 2014 in bereavement, grief
Tags: ,

The best hugs are the spontaneous, my tears flow with yours, I truly empathize with you kind of hugs. Such spontaneous hugs from strangers are few and far between. Having conversation at lunch today, I answered the standard question, “Do you have children?”

“Yes, my son is Forever 22.”

“Forever? What does that mean?”

“He was murdered on August 8, 2011.”

Gasp! Discomfort. “I’m so sorry.” Awkward silence.

“Did they catch who did it?”

“Yes, and I am still dealing with the criminal justice system…It’s a difficult life…He was my only child…”

“Oh my. I’m sorry.”

And then the conversation picked up where we had left off before the standard question arose. Suddenly, a woman appeared by my side. She had the glassy eyes of tears not spilled.

“Can I hug you? I heard you talking about your son, and I’m so very sorry. I’m so, so sorry for your pain.”

“Of course!! Thank you!! Did you know my Tony?”

“No, no…I didn’t.”

She enveloped me in her arms and embraced me with the compassion that is so infrequently felt. I held on to her and felt our energies flowing.

“Are you a bereaved mom?”

“No, no…I’m not. I just can’t imagine how difficult it must be, and I was sitting behind you, and I could feel your pain.”

There are no words. Just the steady embrace of compassion from a complete stranger who truly understands the difficulty of this journey, even three years later.

And then, she let me go, smiling warmly as she said, “I just felt so moved to reach out,” before the angel among us walked away.

My companion bowed her head, shedding a few tears with me, for the scene of compassion that she had just witnessed.

  1. Teresa Atencio says:

    So beautifully written, hit my heart and soul. I have no children and cannot fathom that type of pain, which no mother should feel. Tony is Forever and will never be forgotten. As Orlando put it, “Angels are among us”.

  2. Orlando Atencio says:

    Beautiful. There are angels among us.

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