sadness and lonelynessI didn’t know Lorraine personally. I only knew of her through Facebook.  She was a very close friend of my cousins in California. When my cousins recently posted about a fundraiser for her, I learned a little bit about her story. She was a young woman who had gotten married in March this year. Just months after, she was diagnosed with stage 4 kidney cancer. Using GiveForward.com, Lorraine’s family raised funds for her treatment and asked for support and prayers for the newlyweds.

Although I didn’t know her, I was quietly rooting for Lorraine. I wanted her and her husband to have a million ways to enjoy being young and happily married, and eventually being old and still happily married. I hoped and prayed that she would beat cancer and get back to her life with fierce determination and beautiful flair. I didn’t know her, but I would guess from all the kind words and lovely photos I saw that Lorraine was a woman with a big heart, a woman beloved and cherished by many.

Today, my heart broke a little when I saw the news of her passing. Just like how my heart broke a little when I heard the news of Robin Williams’ passing. I don’t know Lorraine beyond what her friends recently posted on social media, just like I don’t know Robin Williams beyond his works as an actor and comedian. But I do know that losing a loved one so suddenly, whether to cancer, to suicide or to something else, is painful beyond words.

Circumstances may be different and distances may be far and wide, but grieving the loss of loved ones brings people together in solidarity. We are heartbroken by the loss, but we also cherish the wonderful memories and we celebrate the lives of those who have gone before us. And we allow ourselves to grieve together, for family, for friends and for strangers.

 

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