Every day we’re astounded by our sudden strange and intimate connection with those who have experienced loss. There are those in our inner circle who have experienced this sort of sorrow in the past. Others outside of our circle have shared their own tragedies and each story seems to trigger these unexpected feelings of intimacy and empathy. Even the grief of the people we’ve only heard of seems to move us. All of these people and their stories suddenly mean something more, as if there is this alternate reality out there, this society of people who have learned to find normalcy and harmony within the grief. These people, near and far, dead and alive, are like magnets that keep drawing us in. Their stories call to us, asking for our brokenness and sadness, inviting us to share in the pain together, and in doing so, they weave our shared pain into this complicated and beautiful tapestry of grief.
These people look at us differently, with deep pools of understanding in their eyes. They’re not afraid of grief or death or freak accidents or confusion. They have a quiet strength about them. They are resilient. They have sure foundations. Somehow they have made peace with their own losses and become fuller human beings, more capable of love and empathy. They remind us that while death is no stranger and though life is not certain, hope remains.
We joined this society of the suffering not by choice. It would have been nice if death could have passed us by, if we could have lived a little while longer without this deep sorrow, but here we are.
Life is fragile.
Death comes when you least expect it.
A dozen different decisions on March 24 could have prevented the accident.
Kari did fall.
Margot did die.
And grief hangs over us.
My hope is that eventually we can become like those we have joined.