Sunday, April 11, 2010

Photo Story Friday: Empty

An empty desk stares across the aisle at my nephew.  It's emptiness weighing heavily on his heart.  There has been a hushed silence that has followed him in the halls through the past week.  A few brave students approach and say hello and to say how sorry they are.  The teachers and staff have all been careful to give a kind word or squeeze to his shoulder when they see him.
On the Thursday before Easter Tiger and his best friend Zachie laughed and joked and played.  They teased the girls in their 5th grade class and planned what they would do for their long break from school.
On the Friday after Easter, Tiger dressed in his Sunday best and walked into a chapel where he received a carnation boutonniere and sat as an honorary pall bearer for a boy that was his best friend. 
It has been a hard week as I've watched my 10 year old nephew try to understand and accept that he will never see his friend again.

I have watched Tiger as he came to a new school struggle with shyness and making new lasting friendships.  I have seen what a good kid he is, how caring and loving and giving he ALWAYS is.
I have watched him as he has cared for everyone around him.  He is so sweet when I drop him and my girls off at school in the morning, he waits and walks Izzy to her class everyday, making sure that she gets to where she needs to be.

I remember one morning I dropped them off late and as they were hurrying to the doors that would lead them to the school the national anthem started playing over the loudspeaker.  I watched as he stopped the girls and had them turn and face the flag.  With their hands held over their hearts I felt such pride in him.
I have truly learned to love my nephew, I hate to see him so hurt and sad, I wish that there was something that could be said or done that would take the pain away. 
I am grateful for my religion and the comfort that it has brought in this very sad and difficult time.  I know that one day Tiger will see Zach again and that they will once again be able to run and laugh and play.  Until then I will pray that Tiger will find peace.

18 comments:

Leslie said...

So well put , Heidi. I guess I needed a good cry this morning. The first picture is perfect for your post. What a hard time for a ten year old boy. We will keep him in our prayers.

Emmy said...

Okay I wish I would have read this after I put my mascara on. So so sorry for his loss. And yes, thank goodness for the gospel.

Jaina said...

I am so, so sorry to hear this Heidi. My heart and prayers go out to Tiger and everyone involved in this. ::hugs::

Nat said...

{{{hugs for Tiger}}}
What a sweet boy. I am so sorry he is hurting.

kaye said...

tears for my boy from grandma--you expressed so well what I'm feeling. Thanks.

Chris said...

Loss of a loved one is such a profound experience and especially so when you still feel young and indestructable. Your nephew sounds like an outstanding young man. I always find it amazing in situations like this, that the ones bearing the heaviest burden and who are in need of the most comfort, are also the ones who also become the greatest example of grace and humilty to the rest of us.

This was wonderfully written Heidi, and I hope for the best for Tiger. With good people like you and your family surrounding him, I think he's going to be okay.

Mimi said...

Poor, poor Tiger. That is a hard thing to deal with at a young age.
I know that you'll pour all your love out to him, and that's how he'll heal.

Carol said...

What a hard thing to bear for such a young boy. I can't imagine losing a best friend at that age. Thanks goodness for the gospel in our lives and the knowledge of knowing we will see our friends and loved ones again. Keep up the hugs... he will need them for quite some time.

KT said...

Thanks. He's putting on a brave face, but I can see that he's having a much harder time getting through this than he lets on. He cried at school today when Zach's parents came to the classroom to put some flowers on his desk and thank the kids in the class for being his friend. He told me he tried really hard, but couldn't help crying. I'm actually glad to hear it because he hasn't cried since he first heard the news. But, as sad as he is, he's celebrating his friend. He's trying to dress like him, wants to bat lefty like him, he's drawing pictures like him and singing the songs they sang together. Zach has been in his every thought, word, and action during the day and playing with him in his dreams each night. He's been working on a journal where he is writing down memories and keeping pictures and things. He's a brave boy and is an inspiringly resiliant example to me. I'm so sorry that my baby is hurting, but also grateful at the same time for this wonderfully spiritual learning experience for all of us. Thanks for the prayers and for loving my son as much as I do. I sure think he's great too.

KT said...

and thanks for making me bawl....again! Like I haven't had enough of that this week. :)

Kelli @ writing the waves said...

My heart is just aching right now. How terribly sad that his friend was taken so unexpectedly. I can't even imagine all that Zach's friends and loved ones are going through. Just reading this, I am in tears. I read Tiger's mom's comment - he sounds like a strong kid and that he has a lot of support. But still...I am just so sorry to hear this.

Anti-Supermom said...

Heidi,
I'm so heartbroken to see this, I can't imagine, can not imagine.

Thank God you have God. You have faith.

My prayers for Tiger's family and all those of you who love him.

Annie said...

My heart really does hurt for Tiger, just like you said. He's such a great little boy, I'm so glad that he's trying to remember Zach instead of just ignoring everything and trying to forget. He's so strong, I've been praying for him every night since I found out on Monday. Way to make me cry Heidi :) I'm glad that I can cry for Tiger.

Annie said...

My heart breaks for your nephew. Ten. Too early to leave life. Ten. Much too early to learn of lose.

Rachel said...

My heart breaks for Zach and for Tiger! I've kept Tiger in my prayers since I heard of his loss! Thank goodness we have the gospel of Jesus Christ in our lives to give us comfort when we most need it. I've been thiniking of you all.
Love Rachel

CC said...

I'm tearing up, but I'm at work. Must control self.

So sad. The death of a child is so hard for everyone. :(

Lisa @ Boondock Ramblings said...

I'm so sorry I missed this one, somehow. How horrible for your nephew. I don't know what happened to his friend, but the family and your nephew are in my prayers.

Xmas Dolly said...

That is so sad! Poor little guy. Send him over to my house I'll be his best friend. I just want to give that child a hug! Oh my heart just reaches out for him. Those pictures! I'm so sorry! Oh boy, gotta go. I started reading this story & couldn't stop. The Lord moves in mysterious way.