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.”