Two young men were killed in a tragic accident this past weekend. There are no words, no condolences that will be enough for the families and friends who loved them and will miss them terribly. It's important, however, that we speak the words that we can - our thoughts and prayers just have to be enough. Our community is small enough that everyone knows someone who is connected to these two boys. No one will be missed in the thread of grief that intertwines with their lives. On a global level, this thread wraps around each one of us every day when lives are lost tragically, through illness or violence - we do not escape from the pain of knowing that life is impermanent for us all. When death hits us hard, it can be difficult to breathe let alone believe that life is good, that it is worth living.
That is why our words, our hugs, our baking cookies, our cards are needed. A steady flow to remind those who are grieving that they are being held in love each and every minute right now. We are also reminded that everyday someone is grieving. Our simple words and gestures of compassion and love keep others afloat when they need a lifeline of hope. Don't hold back from being Love. Don't rob the world of your compassion by keeping it inside. Risk feeling awkward, risk letting tears flow, risk not knowing what to say, but saying something anyway. It is never wrong to reach out to someone who is grieving. It is never wrong for you to be grieving along with them. Grief doesn't have rules or a time frame - it exists within us - an unwelcomed guest - that we are forced to make room for somehow.
Allowing ourselves to surrender to our grieving creates space for us to experience it's opposite - joy. The ebb and flow of grief and joy brush up against each other when we lose someone we care about. One moment we are sobbing in despair and the next we are laughing while sharing a treasured memory. It is in our sharing and gathering that the potential for healing begins - that it continues - that it reminds us of who we are and always will be - grieving, joy-filled, healing human beings.
Soul in the World