There’s a couple I grew up with, Trevor and Jeri Ann. He and I were in show choir from middle school on. I remember him telling me on one of our trips that he was “going out” with Jeri Ann. Fast-forward to adulthood and Jeri Ann has worked with Muscato longer than I’ve known him.
Tragedy struck their family Friday when Trevor found their four-year-old son unresponsive in the pool.
He didn’t make it.
Sweet little, fun-loving, Evan who was loved more than some could only hope to be loved, is gone. Our communities are devastated. Whys are outnumbered only by tears.
May it be a testament to their family to see how many thousands of people have been impacted. Thousands who are grieving alongside them, figuring out their own ways to cope as The Higgins family, including their one-year-old-son, navigate this real-life horror.
Nothing shrinks your world faster than tragedy. As we sit with our families, squeezing our loved ones tightly and our babies even tighter, we find ourselves…coping.
Coping looks like slow mornings and wadded tissue.
Coping looks like doing the dishes…and the laundry…because cleaning is one thing you have total control of.
It looks like sidewalk chalk on driveways.
A common theme in psych units across the country is art. Drawing and coloring helps to work through emotions when words fail you. It’s an approach that helps children and adults alike. Anytime my world shrinks, I find myself creating art with my hands.
Coping looks like admiring your child deeper than ever before…and actually taking a picture during your everyday activity, just because…you can.
Coping looks like giving yourself permission to stay in your pajamas til evening…and then taking a shower because maybe some of the sad will wash away with the stink.
It looks like dancing that elicits a brief, real smile — because a song plays that moves your body before your preoccupied mind has a chance to say no.
It looks like more crying — because a song plays that sounds like how you feel.
It looks like going outside and laying down so that Mother Nature can hold you.
If you’re in a similar place right now, please remember this: Coping is not sadness at work. It’s love at work.
It’s love that’s reminding you of your humanness by showing just how greatly you can feel. It’s love urging you to hug, to cry, to create, to dance, to smile, to be, all in order to work through your sadness.
That mess of feelings isn’t there to torment you and keep you down. They’re there to help get you up again.
Please get up again.
Get up for the people in your life that you still get to love on.
Get up for the parents whose arms are unbearably, unfathomably empty.
Get up for Trevor and Jeri Ann.
Get up for Evan.
That heartbreak you’re feeling? That’s love calling.
Get up and answer it.