> We woke up this morning to a phone call telling us one of my wife’s employees had been killed in a car wreck. She has to go announce it to her division, make plans for how to respond as a company and as an individual to other individuals.
Sunday we were out furniture shopping when we met a saleswoman. We got into a conversation and learned her daughter had died in a car wreck just short of a year ago. She was just about to turn 15.
One of my recent friends on facebook (I went to high school with her sister and we connected via those FB connections) just recently came upon the 8th anniversary of her son’s death in a car wreck. Less than a month before she had to comfort an old friend whose son had just died in a car wreck.
What do they all have in common? We remain. The loved ones remain. The loved ones grieve. The loved ones suffer terrible loss. Where do we go with it? How do we carry that suitcase of grief? That heavy suitcase with no rollers, no convenient handles, a broken zipper so stuff keeps falling out on the street. That suitcase of grief that pops open at the most inconvenient times.
What do we do with that?
- We get stronger and get some good duct tape and keep carrying it.
- We empty it, put away the contents and put the suitcase back in the closet.
- We tear the suitcase apart and make a sculpture out of it that we place in our backyard and the birds come and sit on it in the sun.
- We give it all away to charity.
- We empty it and take it along our further journey, using it to collect wonderful and redemptive experiences to share with other loved ones and to honor the memory of the lost one.
- We do all those things.
Whatever we do, life still is yours to live. It has fresh peaches in it. It has Kilimanjaro to climb. It is worth living.
quote by Srully Blotnick, 1941-2004, American author and Journalist