Two men. Two fathers. Each had a precious son in his early twenties. Had. Each son is
now dead. Each man has more sorrow than he ever could have imagined.
Two young men. Two sons. Each was the joy of his father’s life. Was. Each son is now dead. Each son was held, cuddled, and kissed with more love than he could have imagined.
One son killed seven people: He killed five precious people plus the other precious son. Then he killed himself, not knowing that he, too, was precious.
We don’t know exactly why. He left a manifesto of rambling hatred, of childlike pain, of a suffering mind.
One son guilty; one son innocent. Both in the wrong place at the wrong time. Both sons are loved. Both entirely loveable.
Two men met, hugged, cried together, and talked. They met with the rare grace that only great sorrow can bestow.
They don’t know each other, but they see each other’s empty hearts and pain-deadened eyes, so they know that despite how it happened and despite who did what to whom, they share a bond of grief so great that the only way to see through it is to seek forgiveness and to forgive. Their common pain unites them in the common cause: Not One More!
The gift of grief is—or it can be—a grace to do the superhuman thing: to love when hate would be easier, to find meaning in sorrow, and to hold the other father when their sons are forever bound in the last minutes of life, in their deaths, and in the hearts of the men who held them as infants, raised them with hope, and still love them unconditionally.
© 2023 Beth L. Hewett