What Are We Fighting About?

Posted on | July 27, 2009 | No Comments

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The grief is searing and seemingly boundless. In an instant, the world changed. Two boys, 24 and 20, on route home with their dog, their lives stretching endlessly ahead of them. They are happy, healthy—full of energy, aspirations and love. Their lives end in what seems to the rest of us as a flash. One horrific moment. Now those of us left behind struggle to cope with the grief, deep and relentless. We try to fathom the unfathomable, console the inconsolable, control the uncontrollable.

I feel my own grief, I see my own children struggle to come to terms with this loss, understand what can’t be explained. I watch the parents of the boys try to comprehend the incomprehensible and deal with unimaginable pain. I watch neighbors, family members, friends, classmates, teammates and coworkers gather and reach out to one another. I see the web of pain as it extends well beyond my own comprehension to people and places I don’t know. It’s an extraordinary vision—to see and imagine the number of people affected by this tragedy. I realize that this one event and these two very special boys will have a lasting effect on all who knew them.

I think about the work I do, the organizations I go into every day, the world I live in. I think of the struggles, big and small, that I help my clients resolve, and I wonder, what are we fighting about?

The enormity of the web I see makes me want to create another web, equally expansive and powerful, to send another message. Might not this be a moment to tell someone you love them? Tell those closest to you, for sure. Hold them close and cherish your time with them. But also tell your neighbors and your friends, and then open your heart to those you don’t know or don’t like and hope that you create a web, this one a conduit of understanding, compassion and love.

This is the web these two boys began. If we hadn’t loved them—and them, us—there would be no grief.

Let’s continue the web they started. One of love.


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