I’ve been pretty open about the two deaths my kids and I have experienced this year — my sister and one of Matt’s nieces.
My desire to have all my people and children know each other for support has been a big desire for years, so I’ve been active in cultivating friends, extended family, and other networks since 2016ish. I have been open to meeting new people and assuming that everything is going to work out for the best.
One example of these two areas of my life meshing – death and social networks – happened this last Sunday at coffee and donuts after church. I pointed out the new blue wristband on social media, and thought I’d write an explainer here on my blog.
I thought coffee and donuts would be an enjoyable way to pass the time before my event, so I sat with a couple women with adorable Tennessee accents and talked for a while. We somehow got to talking about family size, and I was asked about my siblings. I have always said, “I am the oldest of three; I have a brother and sister.” I hadn’t said it aloud since July, and somehow I assembled some words to let them know that Sara passed recently. The one gal asked if I had ever seen a blue wristband like hers. No, not until today, I said. She removed the wristband from her hand and gave it to me as part of the ministry she took on when her son died in a freak accident at age 35. She talked about the meaning of butterflies and the group that helped her through grief — compassionatefriends.org. This is the wristband in the photo on my social media and above.
In addition to reminding me of rebirth like a butterfly’s metamorphosis, when I see the wristband, I also remember the goodness of people and adding them to my network and that I should always have a donut after church.