January 4, 2012

Loneliness, Part II

"What if I'm lonely?" Daniel, age 5 (March 2009)

He didn't ask today.  He knows he won't be lonely!  There'll be 20 other kids in his class, all 8 year olds like him.  There'll be a teacher too, and who-knows-how-many other little bodies in the lunchroom, on the playground.

It's not for me to ask.  I'm the mommy.  My job is to do what I can, when I can, to give him the world he needs to grow into the fullness of the self he is and is becoming.  And today that means school.

But I very much want to ask it of someone:  "What if I'm lonely?"

It's progress, actually.  Asking, that is.  There was a time when I would not ask.  Under any circumstances.  Because I didn't want to hear the answer.

"What if I'm lonely?"  I'm not a five year old whose mommy can fill the emptiness.  I'm not an eight year old who can move along to the next kid on the playground.

If I'm lonely, it's going to hurt.  My heart just might feel like it's going to break. 

Sure, I could call a friend.  Watch T.V.  Go for a drive.  But I'm not going to.

If I'm lonely, I'm going to feel the hurt.

Honestly, I don't want another answer right now.  I want the world to say, Hurt if you hurt. 

To God, the psalmist says:

"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me." -Psalm 23:4 (KJV)

I no longer believe that I can avoid the valley of the shadow of death.  It's a little death, seeing my youngest child in school, sitting in this empty house.  There will be other little deaths.  And bigger deaths.  And I am ready to walk through the valley of their shadow.


  1. I'm praying for you and for the little one and all who surround him today. lots of love

  2. Sometimes the fear of the loneliness is worse than the *actual* loneliness.