“We do live in a ridiculous world, and I would not wish to talk about the world without indicating confusion and sadness, but also my vision and hope, concerning our shared human condition.”
~Douglas R. Hofstadter, Introduction to Metamagical Themas
Today I want to explore the heavier side of nonsense. Maybe “want to” are not the right words. Maybe “have to” or “need to” are more accurate.
Over the past few weeks, I have been confronted with several tragedies. Three young people I know have passed away from cancer. Their vibrant lives have been cut short by illness and I am having a hard time making sense of it all.
The weight of this news lies heavy on my heart and mind. Nothing can reason away the devastation of losing these precious people.
When faced with such a senseless situation, how do we respond?
We grieve. We let the weight of life’s mysteries sink into our souls. We retreat into the question that forms the core of our existence: Why are we here?
Everyone answers this question differently. It has divided humans for centuries.
And yet, at times like this, it also unites us. When we stare into the eyes of a grieving friend or family member, we recognize the confusion we see in their faces. We share their pain. We share their hurt. We share their suffering.
Grief, in this sense, offers clarity amidst confusion.
When faced with the question: Why are we here?
Grief answers: To LOVE.
After all, what is grief, but a testament to love?
It is a reminder that love is what makes life worth living. When we lose love, we lose life.
That is the true beauty of our humanity. Amidst such horrible loss, we have the capacity to feel the highest emotion.
The beautiful side of grief is its ability to inspire us to live our lives more intentionally–its ability to inspire us to lay aside our differences and to love each other more fully and deeply.
Love, of course, does not always make sense to our minds. Not all people are easy to love and sometimes we wonder if it is worth the effort it takes.
When confronted with death, however, it is love that makes the most sense to our hearts. We wish we could have loved more, not less.
The greatest gift grief has given me is the realization that there are more opportunities to love than I ever knew.
And that is what I want to do. That is why I am here. Like my friends who have passed on, I want to live a legacy of love.
Whatever you may be grieving today, I want to encourage you that you are not alone. Grief is part of the human condition. But so is love. And the greatest way to receive love is to give it. So from my heart to yours please accept this wish that your grief will find a beautiful expression in the love and support you share with others.