Two children, bright and beautiful, suddenly, separately and unexpectedly passed away this week in neighboring communities. One a sweet little 8-year-old boy with the face of a freckled angel, the other a shining, vibrant young girl of 14. Both smiling from pictures framed by a journalist’s galley of words attempting to explain this tragic loss to stunned readers. Many, like me, are strangers to their grieving families but that does not matter–children should not die, and we are all connected in our collective grief.
. . . as the story of any one of us is in some measure the story of us all.
Many in the two communities in which the children lived hung balloons up and down their streets in school colors, one community filled with orange balloons and the other green in a tender display of shared sorrow in support for the grieving families and in celebration of these precious lives.
At times like these we often want to hold those families close and tell them we grieve with them, but we feel helpless to offer comfort for such an unfathomable loss. So, people hung balloons hoping to send these families the message that they are not alone, that they are held in the hearts and prayers of many who may not know them but who grieve with them.
Where I live, these two communities border each other. Today as I was driving down the road I saw this collective compassion overlapping in a very visual way.
Where the two grieving communities crossed paths, two bunches 0f the colored balloons, four green, four orange were entwined on a shared tether.
It was such a powerful display of who we are when we are so consciously connected to our own hearts and therefore to the hearts of others. A signpost marking a moment when we recognized our oneness–when a stranger’s grief became our grief. An interconnection that felt so real and fragile and tender and sad and beautiful all wrapped up in the image of those balloons for Carly and Quinn, tangled up together in the bright sunshine, swaying gently in the cold winter wind.
With my deepest heartfelt love and compassion to their families.
Divinity in the Everyday