Yesterday was the birthday party of a friend. I love birthday parties; there's always cake, wine, munchies and the surprises of presents. Even if the present isn't yours it's always exciting to see what is hidden under the wrapping. But I dreaded going to this party!

My friend had recently lost her 44 year old daughter to cancer-isn't the loss of a child the worst kind of grief? I wasn't here for those final months. Even though I kept in touch from far away I felt guilty. This was my first face to face visit with my friend since the loss. How was I to act? Should I ignore the elephant in the room and only acknowledge the birthday?

I did acknowledge the birthday as it was the primary reason for the celebration. But when the deceased daughter's name came up I asked questions and let the family share their feelings. After all they do say in sympathy cards and verses on condolences -"may your memories provide you comfort." I hope I did it right. 

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