Um, I just went to visit the house of a dead person, and my heart is so heavy.
I didn’t know this woman – never even met her – but the effect that she had at Danita’s children’s center still very much remains. I passed the very spot where she passed, walking with the staff member in whom’s arms she died. She was family to the team at Danita’s Children and when Brittany and I went to check on her kids it was apparent that their hearts were heavy as well. They smiled and said the right things, easily detected by someone who has so often done the same.
They immediately brought out an album of a happy young woman, in her remembrance. Their mother. Their mom. Who they would never get to say I love you too again.
The house was dark – lacking both types of energy.
Often times in Haitian culutre when parents die their children go to live with relatives and become child slaves at their new home. Think Cinderella with no knight in shining armor and no glass slipper. They sleep on the floor when the rest of the kids sleep in a bed, things like that, working all day to “earn their keep”.
Knowing this cultural tradition Brittany wanted to check on the kids and see how they were being treated, and as I watched them I wanted to mourn with them. To let them know it was ok to be upset. Everyone acting like it’s just something to get over. How is a child – 7 years old – supposed to just “get over” their mom never coming into their home again, never cooking them a meal, regardless of how fancy or extensive the meal is. She wasn’t even sick. She was young and healthy. And one day she just collapsed. They’ll never know why.
Regardless of economic status, how are these families expected to not have the same emotions in their heart because they live differently than we do in the states? It broke my heart that when people pass away in Haiti the family wakes up the next day and keeps surviving, when we so easy to stop our worlds because of insignificant, trivial moments.
Just something to think about.
Feeling so grateful and overwhelmed.. so much to write, but can’t grasp the concepts let alone form the words.
P.S. On the way back to the girl’s house (it’s been raining all day) we passed a little boy bathing in the rain gutter. And a mom rinsing out her mop in it too.
You know, the usual.