Grief can be a funny thing.
Depending on how grief affects you, this statement can seem odd. Grief, in its definition, is not humorous. It is a way of dealing with tragedy that is different for everyone.
Grief for me means my whole like is shaken. I look back on the lives lost and feel an overwhelming sense of loss and the absence of life. It forces me to look at my life and all the times I could have been lost.
Grief for you could mean you empathize with the life lost, the family, and the community.
Grief could mean you celebrate the life lived and mourn the life lost.
Grief for you could mean you suddenly take life seriously and are more cautious.
Grief could mean you decide to live your life to the fullest and not be afraid of death.
No matter how you deal with loss, everyone feels grief at some point in their life.
My home community has dealt with a lot of tragedy in the recent years, enough to last a lifetime.
It is not fair.
It is not just.
It is not kind.
It is not the last time it will happen.
But, it is a chance to strengthen bonds.
It is a chance to hold those we love closer and to lean on others for support.
It is a chance to remember the lives taken too soon and celebrate the impact they left on us.
Losing someone, no matter who it is, is never easy. I lost my grandmother at a time when I didn’t really understand or have a deep sense of the loss of human life. As I grow older each and every day, that fear of loss, that fear of tragedy, the fear of death, grows ever more present.
Death is a fact of life.
It is one thing we are completely guaranteed in this life.
Apart from that, nothing else is guaranteed. We will all someday stop breathing and our lives will end, but we do not know when that is going to happen. It could be today, or tomorrow, or next month, or in 10 years, or in 50. It is those of us who are taken far too early that perhaps sting the most. It is those lives lost before life can truly begin that wound deeply.
It is in these lives lost that we realize that life is not granted to us every day. We realize that every day is a gift and not promised.
It is in these lives lost that we cherish the moments we shared and mourn the days we never will.
It is in these lives lost that we love and cherish while crying over the flowers given in remembrance.
Grief is a funny thing.
It is not kind and is unforgiving. It is cold and warm all at the same time. It is something that brings us together and drives us apart.
Grief is a terrible thing.
But grief is a necessary thing.
We must all feel grief all throughout our lives. What we do when feeling this grief is what makes us who we are.
I cannot tell you what to feel or how to cope. All I know is that we are together in our grief. It will be a wound we feel for the rest of our lives. But it is something we share.
So in this time of grief know that you are not alone.
Even when the dark is crashing through, when you need someone to carry you, when you’re broken on the ground, you will be found. In this time of grief, we are together and we will get through this.
In this time of grief, mourning, and remembrance, I offer my love and prayers to the families affected and to my hometown.