I can't stop thinking about those parents in Pakistan who are burying their children this week. And of the parents from Newtown, whose terrible anniversary rolled around last week. And of parents around the world who are grieving the loss of a child, including some whom I know. Kay Warren, whose son committed suicide last year, published an article this month about how the cards and letters so many people send this time of year, with photos of their perfect families, cause extra pain.
Shakespeare, who himself lost an eleven year old son, writes about loss in the play King John. This speech comes from Constance:
Grief fills the room up of my absent child,
Lies in his bed, walks up and down with me,
Puts on his pretty looks, repeats his words,
Remembers me of all his gracious parts,
Stuffs out his vacant garments with his form;
Then, have I reason to be fond of grief?
Fare you well: had you such a loss as I,
I could give better comfort than you do.
I will not keep this form upon my head,
When there is such disorder in my wit.
O Lord! my boy, my Arthur, my fair son!
My life, my joy, my food, my all the world!
My widow-comfort, and my sorrows' cure!
I read a news story in which one of the women in Peshawar spoke of her son getting up and getting ready to go to school to take his exams - and then not coming home. She mentioned that her husband had already died. And now her "widow-comfort," taken too.
It is no comfort that this pain crosses boundaries of time, nation, religion - but how is it that we never learn, and that losses that we human beings could prevent continue to happen? They happen, and then all we can do is try to give "better comfort."
Buffy, who is hosting this week's roundup, is focusing on light in darkness. I'm afraid I've added more to the darkness than to the light with this week's contribution, but go and read what other people have shared, and I'm sure you will find something more festive!
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