Earlier this week I was angry.

Seriously riled up, raging, and though I’m not proud of it, praying that bolts of lightning would strike. And though my emotion may, in fact, be legitimate (and the fodder for a post yet to come), life has intervened and another emotion has taken precedence: grief.

My oldest friend’s husband died this week after a 13-month struggle with pancreatic cancer. His death a mercy, but no less tragic. Her heart broken as she strongly, bravely, beautifully faces life as the now-single-mom of an 11-year-old son.

I sat with her on Friday – amidst the comings and goings of family and friends, memorial-service details, the making of photo slide shows, determining the size of cakes and the necessary amount of punch, talking about auto insurance and shutting off his cellphone, the handling of an infinite list of details, and smattered throughout, the occasional questions of “What next, Ronna?” “How will I…?” “Why?” “I’m afraid.”

Today, his service over and overwhelmed by the impossible-to-satisfy demand that life go on, I try to remember what I was angry about. Yes, I can recall, but it is subsumed in and woken up by this:

Anger is easy and grief is hard.

It is easy to get all riled up, to cry for justice, to scream at violence, ignorance, and just plain stupidity that harms. And it’s not that these things don’t matter or don’t have a place and a time. Of course they do. We need to feel these emotions. We need to advocate. We need to name and acknowledge the sheer evil that exists and often permeates our day-to-day life. But I wonder:

If we were to be heartbroken vs. furious, how might our heart respond, our focus change, our world transform?

“May God break my heart so completely that the whole world falls in.” ~ Mother Teresa

In love: Beth and Colin. In memory: Don – 9.11.2012

 

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