The last couple days have been really hard. Sometimes I just really hate my calling...it is a little more than I can handle and I don't feel equipped. Don't get me wrong, though. I always feel the help of the Lord and I know I would have already given up a long time ago if it weren't for that help.
In this capacity, I see sides of people's lives that nobody else has the opportunity to see. I know things about people's marriages that I would rather not know. My eyes have been opened to the poverty, both temporal and spiritual, that people experience. I see many people at their very lowest moments. I am here to help them and in so doing it is just a natural byproduct to see their lives in such detail.
Last night I saw something that I hope I will never have to see again. I can't stop thinking about it. It has probably been the biggest challenge I have faced yet as RS President. I have had 2 sisters tell me they were going to commit suicide, I have seen more divorces and separations than I ever thought possible, I have dealt with a sister who cuts herself, I have seen medical issues and trials of health, I have had people yell at me over the phone to tell me I should be released because I am not "doing what my Heavenly Father wants me to do, " I have had a sister be arrested....but until yesterday I have never had to deal with death.
While I was at swimming lessons I got a phone call from Bishop to call him immediately because a family in the ward had lost their daughter. I called him back and found out that the police had called Bishop and needed him to come with them to notify the parents of their daughter's death. Apparently she had been staying with her grandparents and the grandmother left her in the car. We live in Arizona and that poor little girl had no chance. Bishop said he would go with the police and then would call me over.
When I arrived, this sister had known for less than an hour that she would never again see her daughter on this earth. Devastated is an understatement. The paramedics were treating her for hyperventilation and she was throwing up. She is 33 weeks pregnant now and there are deep concerns that this emotional trauma will cause that baby to come early. I honestly did not know what I could do, or even what I should do. What do you do in this situation? I finally just went and held her for a good fifteen minutes and just cried with her. I can't imagine....how do you deal with this? How do you find it in your heart to forgive the person you trusted with your child? How could this happen?
It is just hard for me to have the responsibility to be the one to see this poor mommy right then. We all hear of people who are affected by death somehow...sometimes it even happens to our friends or neighbors. But to be there while the police were still there monitoring the situation...to see the raw emotion....that is something I don't think I will ever be able to forget. We usually see these people when they are a bit more put together and have had time to process the situation. Not that it is easier, but they are ready to face the world.
Man...we just never know when something is going to happen. I came home and just hugged my girls and I didn't want to let them go. Ever.
Today I have felt guilty for being happy and having so much. I am truly blessed. But how can I be so happy when others are suffering so much? I know the answer, so you don't have to tell me...but I have felt a little humbled that my problems are relatively small when I consider what other people have to deal with. In fact...they are miniscule.