I'm not sure how to write about this, but I'm going to take a stab at it. This might be an uncharacteristically short post. :^)
My family just endured a loss... a loss of life. This is common. It happens every day, and the death of someone close happens to all of us multiple times throughout life... but all that really means is that most of us have this kind of wound. Not that it's not painful and horrible. Not that we should just "get over it". I think most of the people I count as friends would agree with that, and would try their level best to be loving and supportive --as much as they could-- to anyone they knew who had experienced such a loss. I know some incredibly kind and gentle-hearted people. I'm fortunate that way.
But what I'm most struck by now is how aware I suddenly am of the deep need I have of some vehicle for this... some need for a ritual to mourn not only this loss, but all the horrible things that have happened over the course of my short life, all the little deaths, all the breaches of trust. When a person dies, you have a funeral, and even that is not really enough. But what about all the other junk that happens? What about the times you gave everything you had and just got trashed by someone? Or cheated on? Or just forgotten?
We don't have a way to deal with grief corporately, really. I want to blame evangelical feel-good Christianity, or consumer culture, or the internet... but I actually just think it's plain old selfishness. We don't want to be brought down by someone else's pain. We don't know what to say. We don't want to be a burden. This is all perfectly understandable, but we need something. Something to publicly acknowledge that we hoped for better. Something to publicly acknowledge that we are really, really hurt and are probably going to act out of that. Something to remind us of the awful power we have over one another... the power to hurt and to heal. Something to hold us all accountable, to make us stop and think about how fragile we all are, and how delicately we really should treat folks... as much as possible. We need a placemarker that warns us to be gentle with ourselves as we recover, and that reminds others to be gentle, too.
I also think there's some stuff that just never heals. but that's probably a different blog post.
Don't forget to hope
2 days ago