After writing last week’s post about remembering the holy days of loss, several of you let me know your own special dates. Today is the death anniversary for a friend’s sister. My friend’s not old enough to have lost a sister but she did and that’s horrible.
There’s the writer whose husband died in a freak accident at the beach. There’s the Nobel Prize-winning hero who survived capture and torture by ISIS. There are countless survivors of school shootings and other life-changing traumas.
These are the special ones. They know something about life that most people don’t know and don’t want to know.
If they get through the worst horror of their loss and reach the place when they can put their shoes on again, they become The Ones Who Know. They are no longer burdened by routine issues like not finding a good parking space or losing a favorite pen. They don’t really care when they burn dinner because their hearts have been seared and they survived.
Survival means that we lived. We lived to tell about it and work towards it never happening again – and the “it” is everything from the cancer to the stupid comments made to help us feel better. Survival means that we understand the shallow concerns of those who haven’t been there. It’s okay. We love them. They are innocents to trauma.
Today my heart holds those in the beginning stages of deep grief. It’s horrible. But they will find – eventually, if they make it – that they will become The Ones Who Know. And they will become unspeakably wise.