A child drowns.
A teenager crashes his car.
A girl is kidnapped, then murdered.
A successful executive with a six-figure paycheck jumps off a building.
A crazed man pulls the trigger and innocent school kids die.
How do we make sense of this? Where do we even begin? How do we console ourselves and comfort each other?
Sometimes, life feels random, unjust, crazy. But if we’re still here, we have to get out of bed, feed the kids, walk the dog, check email, do the laundry and make dinner.
Where do we search for meaning when life spins out of control? How do we keep breathing when we turn on the TV and tune into global mayhem?
Some people pronounce with a poker face: It is what it is. Not much help, if you’re like me and feel into things, need to peel back the layers, peek and unravel and understand.
Is there a God, we ask in utter disbelief. What kind of a God allows this to happen, we wonder, gasping for a clue, a shred of insight.
I don’t know.
Those of us who guide the grieving don’t always know, don’t have all the answers. What I know how to do is reach out a hand. To let my fingers touch and link with yours so you have something to hang onto. I know how to open my heart and my arms and invite you in and hold you there for as long as you need me to.
It’s all we can ever do. As spiritual teacher Ram Dass says: We’re all just walking each other home.” It’s what we’re called to do for each other. Interdependence over independence. Because no matter how much you can do all by yourself, there will come a time when you need to lean on another. To curl into a human embrace just to stay warm and feel safe for a while. So it’s a good idea to practice. To ask for help. To admit that you need some assistance. To hold hands and do things with another.
Together we make meaning–especially when life seems meaningless. You look into my eyes and find yourself. I rub your back and feel our oneness. In that moment, the God-spark lights itself. It’s not out there, somewhere. It is in you and me. And for a brief moment, we’re able to focus on the gain, not the loss.
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