The words of strangers

Sometimes the words of a stranger can mean more than the words of the people you call family and friends. Many times, I have said that my purpose in blogging is to keep Zachary’s memory alive and allow others to know his spirit even though he is gone. Sometimes you get proof positive that you are indeed accomplishing what you set out to do.

I have had some wonderful people comment with such love and understanding on my blog posts. It always fills my heart with a sense of peace and hope when strangers reach out to me in my grief. It feels like making a friend, even if it is the kind I will never see in person. I have had people reach out to me through messages on Facebook also. I appreciate every kind word whether it comes from someone I know or someone I don’t know. There is a lot of love and kindness to be found in this world.

Last year someone commented on several of my blog posts and her words touched me. It felt like she must know me and/or Zachary. I finally asked her if she did know us somehow. I gave her my email address so she could respond. On June 28, 2016, she did respond. Here are some of her incredible words that touched my heart.

Dear Melissa,

Your Zachary – and you – I know only because of the words you have written about him. I wish I had known him. My heart is with you, even though I live far away and never got the chance to meet your son.

The only opportunity I’ve had to know Zachary is because you’re living through the worst thing any parent can suffer. Your suffering, your writing, allows me to know him.

How I came upon your blog – I don’t remember.

I know that from the first, Zachary had a place in my heart, and so did you. Even strangers cry for Zachary. Your writing makes him live in their hearts. Oh, I am so far beyond sorry that you no longer have him with you.

I carry you with me, Melissa. Thank you for writing about Zachary. It is all-too-bitterly clear that the world lost someone who was needed, so very loved, so very important. His death breaks my heart each day.

These words mean more to me than I could ever explain. She “knows” Zachary and carries his memory with her. Some may find it strange but when I was finally able to post the video of his service, I sent her an email. I thought she might want to hear the words of others to come to know Zachary better. She gave me the gift of taking the time to watch his service and hear all the incredible people who spoke that day. They spoke of how Zachary lived, loved and influenced them. She sent me an email after watching it and again her words touched my heart. This is some of what she had to say

Melissa, I did get to watch Zachary’s Memorial Service video – I am so glad you posted that.

Zachary made such a strong impact on so many people. And, I noticed, so many different kinds of people. I was deeply touched by how diverse the speakers were, how many different people became attached to Zachary. It really fit him. He was not a cookie-cutter person. Zachary was an original. He was interesting and lively and not afraid to be himself.

Also, he was interested. That was obvious, too. He was interested in thinking and exploring and questioning. He helped other people do those things. Talking with him opened new ideas, new ways of considering the world. You could hear that in what the speakers shared.

When the one lady – I think she was a co-worker? – when her voice broke and she said, “To the family, I am with you…”

Oh, Melissa. I broke down. Out loud, said, “Me, too. I’m so, so sad he is gone. I’m so sorry.”

You are right to share him. There wasn’t enough Zachary in the world. Not enough time, not enough getting to know who he was. He should still be known. I’m thankful you go out of your way to share him.

Again, her words brought me great healing and comfort. I am keeping his memory alive. I am able to share his spirit with others. It is the only job a mom can do when her child is on the other side of this life. I sent her another email and asked if I could share her words. She agreed that I could but she felt they were not worthy of my blog. How wrong she is, they are worthy and needed on my blog. They prove that I am doing what I set out to do. And again, in her reply, her words touched my heart.

I don’t feel worthy to be mentioned there, but whatever you want is what I want. I just mean – Zachary is what matters. You are what matters. His life and your life.

Thank you again for the video of the service honoring Zachary. You will never know how much I have thought about what people said – with their words and with their faces. They loved him. They still love him.

I know in my heart she is right, anyone who ever loved Zachary, still loves Zachary. He will truly never be forgotten. He was simply the unforgettable kind. I hope through my blog many more people will come to know him and to love him.


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