I looked up from my late day desk yesterday.

Caught off guard, I did not hear her walk in.

I rose to meet her, her neighbor couldn’t accompany her, she’d decided to come on her own.

“Good”, I said. “I’m glad you came.”

Almost a half hour before the others, I told her it’s fine. It’s good. It’s hard to walk into a room and know no one.

Now, you know me, and I, you.

I tried not to keep gazing there, the place where the light seemed so warm, so soft this evening, a day after I still think of their embrace.

I question what it is with me, the way I’m drawn to such sights.

The thin branches reaching out, reminded me of them, open and tenderly brave.

It reminded me of listening.

I sat between them, the three of us, mothers.

The one new to the gathering began to speak about her son’s suicide.

The room fell silent.

Reverent.

She looked past me towards the other and asked, “When did you stop blaming yourself?”

Seconds only passed, the imploring of her words, and I noticed the mother three years into grief over her son’s suicide, move slowly from her seat to stand.

Only for just a small breath of a moment did I think to respond. I should comfort.

Instead, I stood and with my hand on the shoulder of the mother to my left, I helped her over to the mother on my right.

I had missed it, that she was on the edge of sorrow, that there were tears about to overflow.

Somehow, she did, the mother to my left.

And, not a single word spoken. Their arms raised to meet the other, shoulders rhythmic with release of tears.

It seemed quite a while; but, the wait not the least bit unsettling.

The father of the son of the one gone three years, the husband of the one offering embrace.

He began to cry. I looked his way, looked slowly away and I joined with them in my own tears. My not nearly comparable mama tears.

Finally, after such a beautiful long time their arms unfolded.

She said, “Thank you.” to the mama who knew and sat slowly back down.

And the other mama waited, as if to be sure and I listened to the voices of grief I can never quite comprehend.

Praying I don’t.

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