Thursday, February 16, 2012
It's been one of those times lately when several people I know have been passing away. People from my childhood. People from my work life. People who are dear ones of friends. The sadness, sorrow and, in some cases, devastation of those remaining have made me think about the human experience and how an integral part of being human is the need to reach out and to be reached out to in order to truly live -- and sometimes just survive. I've been pondering the many benefits of living in my hometown, in a small town where nearly everyone knows everyone else and histories together are long and deep. While at the funeral home to observe one family's loss, I found myself in conversations with those in the visitation line with me who have been experiencing their own losses, often unbeknownst to me. I found my own griefs coming to the surface once again and it was easy to relive the memories. There would've been a time when I would have wanted to run away from such feelings but, as I get older, I realize that empathy comes from our own grief and being able to share others' sorrow with them. The human experience, although often ordinary, reveals extraordinary moments of clarity about the essence of life.