How do we be of the world, moved by what is occurring around us, but not paralyzed? I have no easy answers, but my last few months have been so impacted by my own family’s suffering I found myself shutting out the world.I could not take more sadness, grief or suffering. So I muted the noise of the world.
Mostly, I do not want to live in this disconnected way. However, I realize that in order to process my own pain, I needed to limit the amount of ‘extra’ burden I place on myself.
But today, as I sit at my beloved Dad’s beside, waiting for the few moments of wakefulness to provide him conversation or food, I read. I spend more time researching the current crisises that are leading so many to flee their homes. How do we help, in the immediate, but also in the longer term to prevent such atrocities as three year-old Aylan lying lifeless on a foreign shoreline?
In my own pain, one of the most striking emotions I have felt is gratitude. Not only for having my Dad these last decades years but also for all the blessings I have had because of him and my Mom throughout my life. I am deeply sad but also very grateful. And because of this gratitude, I care. I care because I see the luck I was born into- the freedoms I have, the material goods and supportive people in my life. I do not take this for granted.
In the midst of pain, I care. I care about what happens to others in this great big world of ours. This Earth is a shared space and I care.
And that caring should lead us to action. To welcome those into a new home, to implore our governments to call for a no-fly zone in Syria to also allow people back into their homeland, and provide any other means of support.
I miss my Dad. We would have talked about this criss, what history led to this moment, why we aren’t seeing change, and what we can do to help. We would have talked about our sadness and disappointment, our faith and how this makes us struggle.
All of us expect our parents to pass before us. I am not ready, but know I probably never would be. No parent should ever have outlive their child, nor have to risk such horrible circumstances to find a safer home for their families.
Let us be connected. Let us find empathy in our hearts during tragedy and find ways to act.