"HI, I’m Sarah…”I said reaching out to shake her hand.
Slowly she reaches out her hand and took mine while her mouth drops open.
“That was my mom’s name,” she whispers to herself.
Guiding her back to my office I ask her for her name.
She sits in my office with the deer in the headlight look.
I wait as she seems eager to say something, but cannot find the words.
“I was my mother’s caregiver for years,” she says with a fierce strength in her eyes.
“And she passed away three months ago, “Her mouth remains open to continue, but silence comes.
Her fingers dance amongst themselves as her eyes break the strength they tried to hold, and tears come.
“It’s just so hard and no one understands. We were so close. I just….”
And she lets herself cry.
“I know there are no words to describe how it feels when you were so needed and loved, and suddenly that feels gone,” I say.
She glares at me and I know that while I have not embraced her physically, I have embraced her hurt.
“We all have an internal desire to be needed and loved, but most of us go through life feeling empty and unused,” I continue.
She nods in fierce agreement.
“And oh how special and indescribable it is when we fill those pieces of ourselves. And how lost we feel when we lose that.”
Her smile hugs me.
We go on to have a fabulous discussion about how she wants to volunteer.
She needs to be around others, giving of herself, sharing and receiving joy. Feeling wanted. Needed. Appreciated.
Her needs are not much different than my own.
Few ever take the steps to find this fulfillment.
They get lost in meaningless relationships keeping a waning glimmer of maybe, the find safety in the familiar, they fail to see their gifts.
She doesn’t want to leave, but she doesn’t want to keep me either.
“You know, I was just in the area and thought I would stop over here to see how I could volunteer,” she says gathering her things.
“And then you come out and your name is the same as my mother’s.”
I walk her to the door and she turns around, “It’s never a coincidence is it?” I say.
She smiles and I know. Her Sarah has touched this moment. This day.
And she is taking all the pain of her loss and turning it into joy by giving of herself to help others.
Can it be any better?