Walking to La Ramblas: Meditations on Loss and Grief
A few minutes ago, I read about a terrorist attack in Barcelona, and I’m still in recovery from the shock and terror of reading about Charlottesville a few days ago.
Let me be as clear as I can: evil actions make me sick. I know that I’ve hurt others, especially with my words, but I have never engaged in acts of hatred that kill others. I feel that denouncing, hating, and killing others for the colour of their skin, as for any other essential characteristic, is reprehensible.
I cannot imagine why people would commits actions like these, and so sometimes, all I can do is cry, and wish that the world were a better place. I cry because—by virtue of my white skin—I am complicit in racism; I weep because, as Tennyson wrote long ago, “I am a part of all that I have met.” For that matter, I’m part of all those I haven’t met, as well. I mourn because, for terrible reasons, human beings kill our own people. We kill our own flesh and blood.
Reflecting on the weight of human loss and grief in the last few days alone is very difficult. It makes EVERYTHING harder, because the grief obscures our hope.
In my heart, I walk with those who recently attended a candlelight vigil in Charlottesville, and sang Pete Seeger’s “We Shall Overcome.” “We are not afraid, we are not afraid…” In my heart, I weep with those who mourn their lost loved ones in Catalonia. What else can I do
I can pray. I find myself doing that constantly anyway.
I can write, and sing, about peace; I can particularly do the latter with my friends.
And I can love. By myself, I’m not enough, but it’s a start.