Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Angel of grief

This angel has lowered her head in grief because she could not be there to save someone.

She could not be there to save a little girl, four years old, laughing and shrieking with delight as she sledded down a hill during a rare, thick Vancouver snowfall.

She could not be there to stop the truck as it rounded the corner, its driver blinded by snow.

Turn back time, turn back time. . . just take time away. Extract this sorrow from my blood, draw it from me now, for soon my heart won’t bear it.

I am only on the outermost fringes of this tragedy, and have no right even to speak of it, but it reverberates in me still. For this astonishing, unspeakable loss happened two years ago, on Christmas Eve.

Some say everything happens for a reason. I want to pin them to the wall and ask them to prove it.

Some say God never gives us more than we can handle. I want to take their hand and pull them into the suicide wards, the prisons. Just take a look.

I don’t know what potion can relieve such horrors, losses that can’t even be spoken, except that I can’t keep silent and make these cute and whimsical little posts forever.

Everyone assumes everything’s just fine with me because of that whimsy. They don’t see it as the smokescreen it is. The anodyne, the analgesic for a sometimes overwhelming grief.

I too must bear the completely unjust, undeserved and senseless horror of this, and keep on, though my grief is but a particle of her parents’, her grandparents’. Everyone’s.

Sometimes people say, when spared some dreadful calamity, “My angel must have saved me.” Oh yes. And this angelic little girl lost her life and her future in a snowdrift on the sweetest night of the year?

If you are reading this and if you pray, pray. Just pray, don’t even bother with words. If you don’t pray, try. Anything will do. Just begin.


  1. Keeping her memory alive, even just the grieving stirred by reminding us of her unacceptable fate, is prayer, to me.

  2. Yes. I have come to believe it can be anything you want or need it to be, even just a sort of mindfulness (if you'll pardon the new age expression). Caring. But oh, the cost.