This week I felt sort of melancholy. I’m guessing many of you have felt this way, too, at times in your life. For me, perhaps it was all the wheezing and sneezing I’ve been doing for the past ten days due to a cold/virus that decided to make my nasal passages its home for awhile. I never feel upbeat when an ailment like that brings me down low. I know some people are able to put on a happy face under these conditions. I’m just not one of them.
There were other reasons that I felt down in the dumps, but none were nearly as significant as the sadness I felt about the accidental sinking of the ferry boat in South Korea which killed hundreds of teens. In recent years, there have been too many senseless tragedies reported in the news. I have tried to remain stoic about them. Most recently we endured the sorrow over the second round of shootings at Fort Hood Army base; the loss of life surrounding the disappearance of the Malaysian jet liner; and, of course, the tragic sinking of the ferry boat in South Korea.
I have enormous compassion for all the families who have lost loved ones in these grievous circumstances; nevertheless, I try not to let myself get overwhelmed by the grief which is visible on their faces. To do so, would make it absolutely impossible to move on. Their sadness is extraordinarily immense. So, I keep my emotions in check to guard myself from falling into a considerable funk.
But, this ferry boat incident really got to me (just like it did a few years back when I read about the murders of the grade school children in the Connecticut school shooting). As I read the commentary from the parents in South Korea regarding the loss of their children, I couldn’t hold it together. They were inconsolable, and undeniably broken hearted. I wept and wept for them.
One news story gave the account of a father who was called in by the recovery team to identify his son’s remains. The father said that as he gazed upon his son’s body, it was apparent his son was no longer alive. The father could not accept that his son was gone. He would not allow himself to believe it. Instead, he repeatedly called for his son to wake up, choosing to believe his son had just fallen asleep. It is difficult to read this and other stories like it, and not be deeply moved with compassion.
I know part of my empathy results from being a parent myself. The depth of my love for my child is greater than words can express. I know there are many parents out there who feel exactly the same as I do. We can easily understand the profound grief of these parents who have so unexpectedly lost their children.
I feel so strongly that I’d like to reach out to help these grieving families. But, I know that there is nothing I can personally do to lessen their pain, so I am praying for them….. for God to comfort them as they mourn. That’s all I know to do. I’ll trust Him to take care of the rest.
Rebecca and I offer our deepest sympathy and condolences for their loss. May the memories of their loved ones console them in their time of grief.