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By Cat Wilson
A distant nephew died.
A nearby granddaughter rolled her car.
A map printed in mass came with my address listed wrong.
Each event came with it’s own tragedy. Each with a level of worth, none of them the same. The brain and heart take it all in the way a flower bed receives the first heavy rainfall of the season. Some roots are closer to the surface, and others are deep, stretching to the heart of the garden.
The surface flowers made be ripped and drift from their base in the ground. Others that are more deeply rooted will recover from the rain fall.
Questions arise… Why did this have to happen? How could things go so wrong? What can I do to achieve calm, sit, and accept what happened? Where do I find compassion, solace, and a place to mend?
When tragedy strikes, when it’s had a chance to sink in, we get taken apart and reassembled inside. It’s not clear that heart and mind and spirit can ever be one again. How we learn about what happened and how we react changes us.
Upon hearing bad news folks may choose to separate. What does it mean to separate? People don’t call. Friends may leave a suffering soul to wallow in grief. They don’t know what to say. They moved to a different place on the board in the game of life.
This action or non-action protects their happy, burning flame in their life of fun and good news. Some folks don’t want the darkness of the saddened soul to drain their own light. Some folks can’t touch or get too close in times of tragedy; they just don’t have the strength.
Yet, it is a privilege to share our light and love in such times. When our light is shining bright, it is our opportunity to lift the darkness that surrounds others. It is with this thought and intuition that I reach out to share my light.
Bad things happen. Our friends and loved ones die. Our precious possessions get lost and destroyed. Our deeply held notions turn out to be false. The pain might feel unbearable, but this is when we can reach for the light of other folks.
We need someone in our lives who is full of love, compassion, forgiveness, openness, and available presence … A true human being. Today I send light and love to those who do not know where to reach out or where to find solace, who are wondering who is available to be present for them.
There’s a name for a person who’s solid, available, and consistent: they are your touchstone. Likewise, you can be present for them when they are in need—even the most solid touchstone person needs someone to turn to. Who can you be present for today? Who might be struggling but not showing it? Who’s been hiding away?
Tragedy and isolation make us sensitive, and some thoughtful consideration will go a long way in providing truly positive support. Consider the following questions:
What’s needed? If it was me what would I want or need? How can I help without being intrusive? How can I be truly present, not just filling space?
What could we take away from being a touchstone person that would make life better for all? Who needs you today?