Tragedy struck our neighbourhood this week.

Our neighbour across from us….diagonally from us to be exact.  They have lived there for five years. We had never met them.  A mom and her two young adult sons. She lost one tragically on Saturday.

As the shock rippled from house to house on our quiet crescent.  I asked myself why I never bothered to go over and introduce myself when they moved in.  I remember saying to myself, I’ll say hello whenever I see them. I never did.   We always seemed at a distance… busy, rushing.  Hopping into respective cars and taking off to “important” destinations.

I felt her grief. I didn’t know her but I felt it. I couldn’t sleep…  at 2am that Saturday night my next door neighbour and I (who I have known for the entire 12 years we have lived in this house) texted each other in disbelief. Our kids are practically the same age.  Awful. Sickening.

I regretted not having met her son.   A close friend of mine reminded me that “you can’t know EVERYONE”   She was right.   Still as Sunday passed I felt compelled to meet her and tell her how very very sorry I was.

On Monday afternoon armed with baked goods and in the company of a few other neighbours I crossed the street.  Not wanting to intrude on their grief, I still felt it was the right thing to do.

I didn’t know what to expect….meeting at a time like this.  The door was answered by the grief stricken mother; we introduced ourselves and in minutes felt like family. Coming together at a difficult time like this she was the picture of grace. We were introduced to her other son, her parents, her sister, friends. Offered food and given coffee. All at the same time she showed us pictures of her boy from babyhood to the previous week at his university graduation.  We held her hand and hugged her…a collective sadness among us mothers.

I told her I would be back to see her late next week. I thought to myself this would be a good time when everyone had left and resumed their lives. I wanted her to know I am her neighbour and friend.

It`s a good thing a correct thing.    Mark 12:31 “Love thy neighbour as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these. “   

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