The community rallied round, providing food and emotional support and helping with chores and the necessities of daily living. The musicians, including Kari, worked on a CD which would help ease the financial challenges of the families. Now, today, the kindergarten class was waiting for their teacher to let them know how their young neighbors were doing.
“How do you tell a young child that her friends have died? What do you say to that trusting face – how do you soften the blow he must feel?” I felt the blow to my own heart as Kari poured out these words.
Sometimes, in spite of all our best efforts, we can’t protect the children or their families or ourselves. Sometimes, in the midst of life, death arrives and we have to face its shadowy truths. After she told the children, she blurted out, “I don’t know what to do. I just don’t know what to do!” One of the young students came up and put an arm around her. The words of wisdom from this child reverberated around the room: “Be sad. Just be sad.”
Sometimes the only thing we can do is be sad. Sometimes we need to cry more and hold each other tighter. In the middle of heart-wrenching loss, we can love more deeply and care more fiercely.
For those whose journey is dark and frightening, we can listen, we can let them know we are there. We can offer a shoulder to weep on, allow our own tears to flow to let them know that their pain and fear and grief are shared. When we face our own Dark Nights, we can embrace sorrow along with hope, deep sadness along with love of life. We are big enough to embrace the whole. We can open our arms to the children and weep together.
— Julie Harris, August 20, 2010