Who among us is spared suffering? As much as we might try to dodge its grip, we each know sorrow intimately. The death of a loved one, the betrayal of a friend, the brutality of a stranger.... Our circumstances differ, but the resulting heartache bridges language barriers and cultural peculiarities. We know each other through our emotions.
A saintly nun in upstate New York reminded me repeatedly over a span of years that we are born to become Love. "Every challenge helps guide us," she would say. "Our families, our friends, even our enemies help us in ways we don't expect." And though I would protest her assertion, she pointed out that our sorrows provide us with the opportunity to choose: freedom or enslavement, self-value or self-depreciation, love or hate, trust or despair.
When in the throes of our desolation, it is difficult to hope. But when it is time, we walk the corridors of our heart, retrieving the shattered threads of one-believed dreams. We kneel at the gravesite of our child, our sister or brother, our mother or father, or our dreams...and as our tears fall, we hear the whispers of Love beckoning. We realize we were not forgotten after all, and our sorrow gives rise to a new spring.