In an interview with a father of one of the children killed in Parkland, Florida, I heard him say the following:
“When people say to me, I can’t imagine what it is like losing your daughter. I say back, please try hard to imagine it then maybe you can feel what my days are like.”
This grieving father’s words hit like a hammer. He is begging us to waken with him every day as he sees his daughter’s still neatly made bed, no clothes on the floor, no complaining when the 6:00 a.m. alarm rings, no loud music, no laughter, no fights with a sibling. Just silence and an empty room. Imagine. Imagine.
He is asking us to live with him in his grief and pain. To be connected to him.
His request to try to imagine what it feels like to lose a daughter is a universal cry for companionship.
We have all lost loved ones. That is the only education and experience we need to walk with each other in the grief that forms our days and our world.
Yes, we all grieve differently. It is our own path to travel, but we all grieve.
When we go to funerals and we weep again for our own loss as well as the lost one, that’s beautiful. It can connect us to a universal grief.
Could the power, love and empathy of grieving be a hope for a broken world?
May we grieve as if every hungry child is ours.
May we grieve as if every abused animal is ours.
May we grieve as if people living in fear is also what we fear.
May we grieve with all the wounds of the world this week.
Rev. Jolene Bergstrom Carlson