Hannah Arendt Center for Politics and Humanities
14Dec/120

In Memorial – Sandy Hook Elementary School

On this day of unfathomable loss, our hearts go out to the parents, siblings, grandparents, students, teachers, friends, and communities that are dealing with sorrows beyond sorrows. It is a time for grieving.

Hannah Arendt used to say that she and Isak Dinesen shared a spiritual connection because they both lost their fathers early. Arendt was also fond of quoting Dinesen as saying:

All sorrows can be borne if you put them into a story or tell a story about them.

That sorrows can be made bearable neither erases the sorrow nor cheapens it. To bear a sorrow is to hold on to it, to keep it as one’s own. To never let it go. And yet to go on.

It is a time for shock and for grieving and for crying.

We wish those suffering today a surfeit of stories in days and weeks and months to come. For a story, as Arendt once wrote, reveals the “meaning of what otherwise would remain an unbearable sequence of sheer happenings.”

 

 


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