And asked me to pray.
Because yesterday a family lost their two children. And a girl lost her best friend. And a boy lost his. And two lives ended way too soon.
How does one compartmentalize and process that kind of loss? Or rightly sympathize with a mother who, when re-tracing her children’s route, happened upon the scene that would forever split her reality into before and after?
It strikes me, in moments of such incomprehensible loss, how there is a thundering disparity between the world of heartache and the circus of joy. And although I’m in no way comparing my loss with theirs, I noticed a sliver of this disparity earlier this month at my grandma’s funeral.
I remember how the police officer had to stop traffic to let us cross over to the cemetery. Families laughing in their tan Buicks on the way to family farms were bothered with a delay while my world shifted into the new category of after grandma died.
Maybe they sighed as they tapped the steering wheel; I wiped my eyes.
But their day went on as normal. Their life was the same.
I turned on the news last night to see the Coopersville story and had to wait through the weather forecast teaser. I had to hear about rain and whether it might turn into snow when the cold front moves through this weekend.
And I thought about the mom of those kids balled up on her living room sofa wanting to shake the TV, yelling from the bottom of her freshly-broken heart that weather doesn’t matter. Snow doesn’t matter. The radar could not possibly be more meaningless.
The joy disparity was profoundly palpable. We have the luxury of sitting in our recliners with new slippers hugging cold feet and wonder about snow…when a mother is childless in the freezing rain of a December afternoon.
I wondered when she’ll ever be able to sleep again. Or wake up with eyes not bloated with water, cheeks not criss-crossed with tears.
I checked the webpage today and the story is already in tiny font at the bottom of the page. A footnote to the day’s events. Not as noteworthy after 24 hours, apparently.
Yet it will be the eternal, shadowy headline for one family.
And for that…we all must pray.
Extending Very Sincere Sympathy to the Privacky Family.