Collective Grief. Monday June 5, 2017
I write this watching the Manchester Benefit Concert. Ariana Grande is singing with one of the girls from Little Mix.
Honesty time here: until tonight I had not heard of Little Mix. Until a week ago I had not heard of Ariana Grande. Now, of course, I will never forget that name. I don't think you will either.
My twelve-year-old daughter had of course. She seems to know everything about these "stars". She knows that Ariana Grande likes cats although she is allergic to them. She knows who is her manager, her boyfriend. I know nothing of these things.
But I am a mother. When I put myself in the place of those mothers who have lost children to the actions of a man lost to reason and humanity, then – in the interests of sanity – I must immediately take myself away from that place; it is too painful.
And, this morning. Waking up to the news that yet more people, this time in London, have been killed and viciously injured, apparently "In the name of Allah". There are feelings of desperate sorrow, confusion and uselessness.
This violence has nothing to do with true religion. The reasons why anyone would choose to wittingly take the lives of other human beings in this way are beyond understanding for most of us.
How do we react?
The people singing in this benefit concert are doing what they can. The fund set up enables the rest of us to feel a little better by donating money, but we know nothing we can do makes any real difference. Violence is still out there. It never goes away for long. Those of us over a certain age remember those nervous times in the 1970s when it was IRA bombs we feared.
But we personally, cannot take on the grief of the world. Our own personal griefs will come to us and we must deal with them. We owe the world strong and loving thoughts. If we have faith, then we owe the world our prayers. That is doing what we can. We cannot personally comfort those who grieve unless we know them. We cannot personally help to bring to justice those who commit those acts, unless we are part of the immediately involved justice system.
It feels unfeeling, to emotionally walk away. For many of us we take on the emotion of the world and it hurts us. It drains us and rips us open.
But, who does that help? Not those hurt and killed, or their families. Not us. Not our own families or employers or our friends. We must remember them.
A good friend of mine texted me today, "The news is so bad I am shutting myself away and crafting." She is wise.
We can think strong thoughts. We can pray. But then we move on. If we do anything else, we allow violence and terror win.
I don't know about you, but I choose to let love, peace and health win.
A Moodscope member.
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