I first heard of Jack Layton's death on the radio on my way home from work Monday. I started bawling. I don't know much about politics, nor did I know much about Jack Layton, but his death shocked me. My grief for Tripp and my empathy for Layton's family got mixed together. He is only 61. Thoughts of "its not fair" rolled through my mind.
The last few days I have thought a lot about Jack's family. I have been speculating about how Layton died. I have seen death and I wonder if Layton's was as peaceful as Tripp's. I have also been wondering what it was like for his wife in those last moments. I wonder if she was present when he died, or if he went in his sleep. If she was there, I wonder if she was begging him to stay with her or if she was encouraging him to go. If I had to guess, she would have been encouraging him to go. As much as you want your loved ones to stay with you, I don't think anyone wants them to stay in pain.
I love that our country is recognizing Layton's contribution to Canada and waving our flags at half mast. How wonderful for Layton's family to drive around and see that the whole country is grieving their loss. Grief can feel really lonely, so I hope someone saves them a bunch of the comments on blogs and random Facebook statuses to show them sometime down the road.
This leads me to think about all of the people who lose loved ones who aren't "famous" or whose mom's don't write blogs. I wonder if those people know the impact their loved one's life has had on others. I am going to reach out to someone today and tell her how much her son meant to me and how often I think of him.
The good news is - Layton is in a wonderful place. The same wonderful place that Tripp calls home.