May 31, 2022
I tried to write in my journal, but nothing.
I have grieved the loss of parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles.
I have grieved the loss of friends who died far too young and hospice patients with whom I sat at the end of their lives.
I have grieved the impending loss of others who are facing serious health concerns.
I have grieved the loss of so many in our country killed unjustly. Murdered.
I have grieved roads not taken.
I have grieved unwelcome changes.
Grief is not an unknown in my life, and I know it is not unfamiliar to you, either.
Years ago in a class on spiritual practices I taught, the participants made their own string of prayer beads. I have used mine occasionally since then, but not regularly. Now seemed like the right time.
Sitting in silence, I fingered the beads; each one a symbol for one of the children slaughtered and their beloved teachers. My string of beads were not long enough and I returned to the beginning again and again, holding the loss of all those who loved them. I wish I could say I felt calmer as my fingers moved from bead to bead, but that was not the case. Instead, I felt the pain more deeply.
I think I am to feel that pain sear through my body, for only then can change begin to take shape.
I don’t know what kind of action that means for me, other than making donations to worthwhile organizations, but in the meantime I sit with the beads; the beads that leave an impression on my fingertips.
I gave the weekly writing group I facilitate at church the following prompt:
Write what is on your heart. Write your tears, your rage, your fears. Write what is at the bottom of your heart, and write what is touching your heart. Write your prayers. Write your lament. Write as a mother. Write.
During the sharing/listening time, one of the participants, who gave me permission to share the following, said her adult daughter had asked her, “What did you worry about when we were growing up?” She admitted she had to think about her answer. She thought she had probably worried about her children getting good grades and using good manners and living with a love of God and family.
I am not a huge worrier, but I suspect I worried about our children doing well in school and having good friends and making good decisions about difficult choices.
Not once did I worry about our children being murdered at school. That never occurred to me.
Does anyone else see the irony, the inconsistency with the NRA forbidding the presence of weapons at their convention in Texas this past weekend, but at the same time they think providing teachers with weapons in the classroom is the answer?
You decide what that means; what action you can perform. Begin with prayer and then…
So many wise and important words and reflections have been offered in recent days, and I am grateful for how they have helped me sit with what we have created and allowed to happen in this country. I wonder what has been meaningful to you these past days and now where the wisdom gained will lead you. I would love to know.