The Power of our Tribe in our Darkest Times…It’s been a rough week

This was not the blog post I intended to write this week. This is not the blog post I EVER wanted to write. But as I sat around the table set for 6 in the dimly lit little wine bar this past Wednesday night, I knew I had to find my words. I sat with SHE-friends linked by the fact we all raised children in the same church/school community and we were all grieving for a family that could so easily be any of our families. Problem is, there are no words when a young kid, just on the cusp of adulthood and all the joys and wisdom that comes with it, is suddenly gone.   There are just no words.

This week, on Wednesday, one of my daughter’s dear childhood friends passed away suddenly. When I heard the news, my head was spinning and my heart was heavy. My first thought: how to tell my daughter. My other first thought: what to say to this beautiful little girl’s Mom who had been there for MY daughter oh so many times thru oh so many dramas. There were just no words that seemed fitting or right.

When my daughter, another young friend of her circle of childhood group and I walked into this sweet girl’s home, it became all too real. Her Mom had helped so many of us “raise” our little girls together, now one was missing and that one was her precious baby. We held each other and cried. There were just no words.

I sat down to write this post several times since Wednesday, again with no words. Then, this morning, as I trolled thru Facebook reading so many beautiful posted memories and pictures of this precious girl and her family and friends, and as I recounted the events of the week after the news spread…I found my words.

TribeIn my visits with the family, there were friends and family grieving TOGETHER.

In our impromptu rosary/prayer service Wednesday evening, there were her childhood friends, her sibling’s friends and her parents’ friends praying TOGETHER.

In that little wine bar, I sat with old friends and we talked about our own children, their hopes, dreams and fragility and how our sweet friend who had been so good to us and our children would find her way thru all of the pain she was feeling. We lifted each other up TOGETHER.

In this little girl’s college community, a beautiful memorial had been set up, a memorial service on campus had been held and a memorial fund had lovingly been set up…they were grieving and holding each other up with memories of their precious friend TOGETHER.

In our little community of friends, a community that has lost two young people in less than a year long before their time, a community that has and will continue to hold up this family with their food, drink, hugs, tears, stories, joy and love…we are doing these things TOGETHER.

You see, sweet little girl, you wanted to make a difference in the world. You were a reader, a teacher, a cheerleader in so many ways and a bright voice. A strong SHE-voice. You are loved, you will be missed and this tribe, this community’s tribe, will come together for your family, your friends and each other. WIMG_3453e’ve got this, with or without words. We are a tribe filled with love, support and understanding. TOGETHER.

Rest in Peace and fly with the angels, Maddy.




Note from the SHE Files: In our darkest moments, on our knees in quicksand, our tribe emerges. Embrace your tribe – they are always there.

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5 years ago

I’m so sorry, Darlene. I wish you, your daughter, the girl’s mother, and all of the tribe peace and comfort.