This past week has been a rough one for Team Osweiler. Last Saturday Victor’s step-father died from injuries he sustained in a motorcycle accident. It was very shocking and I’m not sure the true weight of the news really sunk in for a few days. This summer we visited him and his wife (not Vic’s mom) while we were in Great Falls just like we would every other visit. But this time was a little different. Yes, we went out to eat, as usual but the next day Tom took us to the Railroad Museum at the county fair grounds where he volunteered. It was magical. The building was filled with memorabilia from a time gone by with two rather large model train sets. I have always loved trains and the nostalgia they bring. Living in Europe was so fantastic for train travel that I long for the days I could hop on a train in the morning and be in London by lunchtime.
This was a side of Tom I had never seen before. He was like a kid in a candy shop, so delighted to share this passion with his kids. I went wild, taking photos of every little model building, tiny cars and even an alien space ship! Without that visit, I’m sure his death would have been even more tragic to Victor and perhaps myself.
But that wasn’t the only death this week, was it? Of course, when any celebrity dies you can’t escape the tributes, news articles and facebook updates. The death of Robin Williams was also very tragic but also hit a personal note for me as well. Just a little over a year ago, my uncle committed suicide and the wound inside of me is still very fresh. With all of the outpouring of “how could he have done this” to “I can’t believe” to “but he was so happy” it seems that mental health education is lacking in our society. We can’t understand unless we have also been in the shoes of the person suffering.
This week my sadness was overwhelming and as I sit at home alone, it only increases. However, I am not going through a depression where I am not able to get out of bed, I am just really sad. But I’m not the type of person to hide my feelings. When people ask me how I’m doing I will tell them: I am very sad. That does not stop me from laughing or having fun but it does make it a little harder to breathe. It makes the alone times so much more lonely. I am a total extrovert and I know that if I am around a group of people it will give me energy, therefore I have been conscious to surround myself with people each day this week. It seems to be working…not to mention the huge nap I took today.
The most difficult thing about being sad where I am right now is that, even on a normal day, I experience a moderate amount of sadness. Just driving down the street I am aware of the poverty in this country. I witness children wandering the streets sometimes half clothed. I see people walking in-between cars, begging for food, money or anything to survive. But I don’t look at them and say, “I should be happy because I have more than they do” I try to imagine how I can be part of the solution, not causing the problem. And with the sadness I feel for the losses in my family, I look outside and think about not only the poverty but what losses others may have faced in their lives. Not just the people on the streets but all of the people I see every day. That is not a problem to be solved, or a program to develop.
And like Job, I have friends who will sit with me in my sadness. That is the only good thing about suffering: with the right people, you don’t have to do it alone. I thank my friends here who sit with me, share scones, give me tours, and just hang out while eating good pizza. It’s when you’re alone that the suffering becomes unbearable and I hope that day will never come when I have to do it by myself.