This week began with a fundraising event for a severely ill community member with mounting expenses. Then there was the news of tornadoes in Texas and Oklahoma that affected friends and relatives of friends. That was followed by another friend’s return to the island after a lengthy hospital stay and the prospect of long-term treatment. So the last thing I wanted to hear was the two word phrase I heard on the radio after dinner: “BREAKING NEWS!”
As I listened, I learned that the I-5 Bridge over the Skagit River had collapsed. Apparently there were some vehicles in the water with rescue teams, helicopters, and boats in the area. Suddenly, I remembered that two friends of mine had gone shopping on the mainland. They went in one car and left the other one at my office. They had not returned to pick up the car when I came home about an hour before dinner.
Immediately, I called the cell phone of the car’s owner. There was no answer. Hanging up, I dialed her land line. It was not answered, either. So I phoned the home of the friend who had driven. After four rings and the start of her voice mail greeting, she picked up the phone. They had returned safely, and our mutual friend was headed to her home on the other side of the island.
Numerous, conflicting reports about the number of injuries and possible causes for the collapse spread around the world. There was speculation about the condition of the bridge that was built in 1955.There were reports that a truck with an oversize load hit the bridge trusses after crossing. Finally, certain that the speculation and finger pointing would continue for many more days, I turned the radio off.
Grieved, I sat in silence for several minutes wondering why all these terrible things were happening. I didn’t come up with any answers, but I did look out the window just in time to see a nearly full moon rising above the horizon. Despite all this week’s drama, tragedy, and unpleasantness, that huge moon was still smiling down on us radiantly.
Are there weeks when you feel especially grieved?
Do you ever feel overwhelmed by drama, tragedy, and unpleasantness?
What reminds you that the world operates in cycles?
How will you acknowledge that grief is just part of the larger cycle of life?