OUR OPINION: When grief is palpable, we must draw closer together

Published 8:00 am Friday, January 14, 2022

This week has seen unimaginable loss for many families in our community.

From the car crash that cost one young woman her life and left a young man in critical condition, to the fatal house fire on Wednesday, it feels as though we’ve all been put through the wringer. Mothers and fathers are grieving their children, children are grieving their parents. There are congregations, organizations that will never break bread with their neighbors again.

Amid the horrors of this week, the life-shattering tragedies, we must draw closer together. When grief strikes, people so often have a tendency to isolate themselves. Today’s society trends toward isolation being the norm, the accepted thing to do.

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But isolation goes directly against human nature.

So many in our beloved town are hurting right now. We need to show them love and kindness as they process the unimaginable. Whether that’s a card, a bouquet of flowers, a hot meal or simply the offer of a listening ear, there are countless ways to support those who are grieving.

There’s something to be said for togetherness. When we gather together, we can share the weight of grief. Each seat at the table, each hand that’s held, each tear that falls feels a little less heavy when it’s shared with the ones we love. Togetherness chips away at the wall of despair and allows the light to come back into our lives.

In addition to the families of those whose lives were lost, we also need to offer support to our first responders.

Our first responders are to be commended, and we should wrap them in prayer just as we do the families of the victims. They’re the ones who exhaust themselves trying to save someone from a dangerous situation, and they’re the ones who are hit hard when all their efforts are in vain.

So yes, this week we are hurting. We’ll likely be hurting for some time. But someday soon, we will be able to rise up and keep moving forward, step by step, together.