I shall not live in vain

This weekend, I heard news that a woman I have known for over 15 years was bludgeoned to death by her son. Her son, who suffers from a traumatic brain injury. Her son, who was a veteran. Her son, whom she was caretaker of.

It is senseless. And tragic. And horrific.

There are actually no words to make sense of this tragedy.

(I paused, not sure I wanted to start with that story. But that is the story that is on my mind, the story that I keep coming back to. The story that haunts me at this moment. And not to give that story to you to hold, but to extend a hand – that we all have stories and tragedy and the world is filled with stories that are sad and heartbreaking… and how do we hold all these stories?)

When I look, when I see, when I listen – it is hard to not miss such heartbreak in this world.

People I am close to, their loss.

People I don’t know, their loss.

The world seems to be pulsating and beating with yearning and desire at this moment.

Desire for something different, yearning for what we don’t have.

Heartbreak and loss, tragedy that we cannot control.

Friends who want children, friends who want a partner, friends who want peace (not in the global sense, though they do, but in the please-end-this-drama sense), friends who are carrying for parents who are dying, friends who are fighting battles with cancer themselves, friends who are carrying for children with terminal illnesses.

My own longings and desires, my own battles that I am fighting.

So. Much.

Each day, I ride the subway, and look around, and see all the people, all the humanity. And I push myself to remember, we are all in this together, we are all hoping for the same things, really. We all want love and connection.

Let’s not be afraid, I want to whisper.

Instead, I whisper to myself – Let me not be afraid.

Let me live this one life with love and bad-assery and commitment and fullness.

Let me not be afraid.

Let me not live this one life in vain.


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