Hard things happen.
A loved one dies.
The doctor’s prognosis is not what we had hoped.
Best laid plans crumble at the last moment.
All of us know how any or all of that feels.
We bargain for a different outcome.
We spiral down into a dark hole.
It is the “and then” which I found myself thinking about today.
What emerges next?
For some, crawling their way up out of that dark place, what emerges is a deepened sense
The sorrow or grief or pain doesn’t disappear, but this other gets mixed into who we are and how we live.
For others what emerges is resentment.
Which also gets mixed into who we are and how we live.
I know this is an oversimplification.
Both happen within many of us.
Sometimes one sometimes the other.
Changing day to day or even minute to minute.
We have all seen it.
Most of us have experienced it.
This pushed its way to the surface today because tomorrow (September 11th) is the 20th Anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
Like many of you, I remember that day.
I remember where I was and how I felt.
I remember the phone calls I made checking on people I knew and cared about.
I remember the disbelief and grief and sick to your stomach feeling of the community and the country.
And, today, I am thinking about the “and then.”
What has emerged?
Are we, as a nation, stronger?
Are we more understanding?
Did the anger and grief of 20 years ago deepen into wisdom?
Or, are we more angry?