Imagining Pain

The father of a friend I work with died this past weekend.

Doc says “It’s not that I can’t begin to imagine what pain this must cause. It’s
that I can’t help imagining it and don’t want to go there. But I have
to. We all do, if we wish to console the inconsolable.”

I have these same feelings.  It happens when a friend loses a loved one.  It happens when I hear news stories about deaths.  It happens when I hear the regular reports of young soldiers, and Iraqis killed in Iraq.  During the first few years it was the 9/11 anniversaries,  I couldn’t watch TV or listen to the radio.

Today at the office we talked with our friend for the first time since his father died.  We all struggle to find the words to say.  It ends up with an awkward silence.  For me it’s not imagining the pain, it’s remembering it, in traumatic detail.

I’m sure it doesn’t help that “our” anniversary was a few days ago.

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