There are those who think we should just move on from our pain and loss. Why do you keep focusing on it? To these people and the ones they criticize I have a few things to say:
1.) When there is loss, it must be named, understood and expressed. Our society does not like pain, we are a denial society. We like to numb our feelings, because they are painful. But grief, pain and suffering are part of our human journey and when we suffer loss we must come to grips with it and understand it the best we can and express it the best we can. This is the only way to healing. Otherwise it will come out in other unhealthy ways.
2.) There are no rules or acceptable ways to deal with it. With the Orlando tragedy, I have been really impressed by all the different ways, our community have expressed their sorrow and grief. With such a huge loss, it will take some time to express and honor our true loss. Do not feel guilty for what or when you feel what you feel. Such loss doesn’t ever go away but how we express it will change. There will come a time when we will simply honor them with our memories and even smiles as we remember the laughs and good times we shared, but there with always be that twinge of pain at the loss and tragedy of it all.
3.) We all are expressions of God’s image in this world and when we lose someone, this world has lost and is less than it was. We must honor that and allow this time to recognize the value and worth of each person. Grief actually brings strength. Its hard to think of it that way in the midst of the pain, but it does.
4.) The ones we lose are always with us. We will always feel their presence and their impact on us will never go away. This is another way we honor them. Don’t ever stop remembering and sharing your stories. Yesterday, I had a young man share his story of a friend he loss. I didn’t know his friend personally, but I felt like I did, after he shared. I could also see the importance and transformational impact of him sharing this story.
So give yourself permission to feel the loss and express it how you need to. The 49 impacted us all in lots of ways, many that they never knew they would and we will never forget or lose this impact, instead we will honor them, with our expressions of memories and actions.
Peace my Brothers and Sisters!