For a 10-year-old boy I'll call Little A, and his family. Little A is one of 8M's most faithful buds/playmates; he's at our house enough that he's almost like another member of our family, and he and 8M sometimes squabble more like brothers than neighborhood buds.
Jen and I have sort-of taken Little A under our wing, just a bit. His family life has been, to put it mildly, pretty chaotic. He has mainly been raised by his grandparents, who are neighbors of ours, because his parents are both. . . well, not always sharing the same reality as the rest of us, shall I say. His father was actually a grade-school classmate of 1F, back in the day (and I'm sure that says something, that our youngest child's playmate is the son of a classmate of our eldest child. . .), but just hasn't managed to pull his life into a coherent pile. His mother has been in prison for the last couple years (she went in around the time his father got out; are you getting a sense of the situation?)
So yesterday, fairly early in the morning, the doorbell rings, and it's Little A, asking after 8M. I had to tell him that 8M wasn't home; he was in another town, attending the First Communion of another of his friends.
"Oh," said Little A, very matter-of-factly. "Did you hear that my dad died last night?"
He said it so plainly that it took a couple seconds to sink in. At first, I thought he was talking about his grandfather, who has had some health issues in recent years. But no - he was talking about his father, who apparently shared some of his own father's health issues, and years of hard living had sort-of accelerated the process. He was 28 years old.
So the poor kid is without his father, who had actually been making some positive steps toward straightening his life out in recent months. And his mother is in prison. His aunt, his father's younger sister, is a paraplegic, since a car accident a few years back. And his poor grandparents are just crushed by grief.
There are no words. I just let Little A in, and set him up with some video games in our family room (with the comforting thought that 8M wouldn't be pestering him to share the remote), to just give him some chill time, because, as he said, "Over at our house, everybody's just crying all the time."
So, I would solicit your prayers for Little A, and for his grandparents, and the rest of his family. And that God would give us the love and wisdom to help give them what we can. . .