I didn’t know what to say, and yet words of comfort seemed to come from my lips. We sat there, in the cozy Bob Evans down the street from the hospital, and I tried to keep myself from resorting to joking or bantering.

As my mother-in-law ordered her salad and coffee, I realized I was not at a table in a homey Ohio restaurant, but that I was in a time machine.

Had it already been eight years since I had picked up my mother-in-law from the hospital to take her for a bite to eat after one of the hardest mornings of her life? She had ordered coffee and soup on that October morning, and though her eyes were red, she didn’t really cry. I wanted to sob, though I didn’t really know how. Crying wasn’t my job. I was there to be transportation and lunch provider.

That morning, we had gotten the call that her daughter’s baby had died in utero. Someone had taken her down to the hospital to be there, and I was picking her up to take her home.

The rest of my column this week, reflecting on Our Lady of Sorrows, is at Today’s Catholic Woman.