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A Hollow Embrace

May 11, 2012
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I can’t imagine what you’re going through.

My words to a friend whose dad recently passed away. Even before the thought was fully conveyed, the words and me felt hollow. I meant them as a condolence, a way to infuse her grief with fibers of love and grace and an identifying.

But words are my lifeblood, and these words were lifeless.

Can’t. Sometimes synonamous with won’t. Or can’t handle it. Often times unwilling.

As friends slowly, one-by-one, begin to forge life without their parents — when life has stolen them quite too soon — I can scarcely think about what that will be like when either of my parents…          Seems such an unsustainable loss. In a year that’s been marked with losses, I especially shrink back from this pain.

The problem is not that I can’t but in reality I won’t. Sadness only seems to multiply. I search for meaning in pain, in mine, in yours, but I’m hollow. It’s my rebellion, my stand against all that is unfair and heart wrenching. A seeming platitude – I can’t imagine – is an escapist route.

But what if we embrace pain, trust God, and let pain reveal beauty and strength and courage and dignity? What if I choose to identify with you? Get down in the muddy pit and let your grief be mine, too? What if I say I can and I will, I am, right now?

Loss whispers you are all alone. But love sings we will imagine with you, seek to understand your pain, come closer not push further away, and commit ourselves to you as beauty reveals herself. 

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