Let me come in where you are weeping, friend,
And let me take your hand.
I, who have known a sorrow such as yours, can understand.
Let me come in -- I would be very still beside you in your grief;
I would not bid you cease your weeping, friend,
Tears bring relief. Let me come in -- and hold your hand,
For I have known a sorrow such as yours,
-Grace Noll Crowell
|Sunset last Thursday evening|
Each one of the twelve victims left behind family and friends for whom this will be the legacy they live with. Mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, sons, daughters and friends will wake up every morning grief-stricken, their lives changed forever by ten minutes of the most unimaginable, pre-meditated violence. As the days go by, the media coverage will slowly shift away from the victims, and people will begin to forget them. But I guarantee you, the victims' families' losses remain front and center and will define them for the rest of their lives.
While I don't profess to understand exactly what the families of these victims are going through, I do know what it feels like to lose someone in an untimely manner. When my 21-year-old son died the world actually seemed to stop for us for a while. Time slowed down to an almost unbearable pace. Right now I can only imagine the pain and numbness that is settling in on these families. The wishful thinking that will play like a non-stop record: wishing that their loved ones had decided to wait and go to the regular opening the next day, or that they had taken a wrong turn to the theatre, or that they had been in the bathroom when the shooting started. Anything that would have put them in a different place than where they were.
This wishful thinking will give way to the reality of what occurred last Friday and that's where I hope that all of us can remember those left behind. I hope we can continue to have moments of silence, to pray for them, to light candles, to donate money to the causes their families have hastily come up with, so that we reassure them that their loved ones have not died in vain. We need to honor those who died by holding close those who are left behind.
When something like this happens we are again reminded of the preciousness and fragility of life. We need to love not hate, and we need to treat every day like the gift it really is. So as the families and friends left behind begin their journey through this first year of mourning, let's hold them all in our hearts. Let's hope and pray that they learn to live their lives with purpose as they learn to live without their loved ones by their side. Let's also look around in our own communities and reach out to people we know who are suffering. Whether it's due to a death, an illness or something else, it doesn't take much to take the time to acknowledge someone's loss. It does make a difference.