Philosophers might say that grief is not all bad; that many a person has, through times of grief shone brighter, become stronger, walked more perfectly in grace and humility.
A very wise man could perhaps understand this and learn to embrace grief as something real and neccessary for life, may even be able to comprehend it’s purpose in making us whole.
I am not wise, nor am I a philosopher. I hold grief at arms length and pray fervantly that it might not touch me again.
It comes sometimes in distant ways. My friends cousin was killed today. Killed instantly, and he so young,so full of promise. It came a month ago in like manner. Another friends cousin, taken. gone.
And even in this way, where it doesn’t affect me directly, I am afraid of it. Afraid of what? I do not know. I only know that the feeling in my stomach feels very much like fear.
I cry with them, and as Sheila Petre once said, my tears are not for them alone. I cry, remembering the days I walked the path that they must now walk. Perhaps my tears are selfish. I cry for me, for the life I have lost, the dreams that were shattered. And perhaps my tears are also fear. Fear of what may still lie ahead. In my life. In the lives of humankind.
“Ask not for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee” has more truth in it than we like to admit. One life lost diminishes us all.