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Loving in Loss

P1020723Two days ago dear friends lost an adult son in a tragic work accident. This morning I received an e-mail from the father who described what happened last night when their grieving family reached out to the man who had accidentally killed their son, brother, husband, and father.

The note described not only their overwhelming concern for the man responsible for their loss, but how a devastated and broken man tearfully responded to the outstretched arms and hearts of a widow, her daughters, and a whole family of bereaved loved ones.

In a world populated with hurt and wronged people… who hurt and wrong others— accidentally or intentionally, mindlessly or mindfully, with or without a sense of consequence— everyone ends up losing something of their own life whenever something is taken at the expense of another.

Loss is not only the legacy of a victim. Loss overtakes us when we find ourselves faced with what we have done to the harm of others—intentionally or accidentally.

Who among us has not hurt and been hurt? Who can afford to not receive or give the grace that is our only hope for this life and the next?

Where can we go but to the One who cried when he saw how deeply a community and family loved the man that he was about to call back from the grave?


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48 Responses to “Loving in Loss”

  1. SFDBWV says:

    Having worked in underground coal mines for as long as I did, I went to several funerals for men who had been killed at work. Yes husbands, fathers, brothers, sons, and friends. Such pain is almost unfathomable in a world of believing that God loves us and watches over us the *loss* is far reaching.

    One such fellow had been camping in the spring along a river with his young family, when his two year old son disappeared. A large search party with State Police tracking dogs were called in to help look for the child. The dogs ran down to the river and stopped.

    All hope was lost and the search called off. That fall hunters found the body of the little fellow only about a half mile from the camp site away from the river. He had wandered off got lost sat down and awaited rescue, then died in the cold of that spring night.

    The family was devastated, but who do you “blame” for this tragic death; his mother, father, the dogs, the search party, God?

    A few years later this same man was working with others on a long wall shear deep underground. The shear, a large drum with large bits or teeth that is used to cut the coal from the seam had to be removed in order to replace a bearing. The drum was stuck and as the men worked to remove it with hydraulic jacks our friend looked around in front of the drum to see if he could see anything when it popped loose.

    It crushed his skull killing him instantly.

    This family who had already buried a two year old child now had to bury his father.

    The widow sued everyone connected to the accident, except of course her husband whom was as much to blame as any of the others, she buried him.

    My father had a name for such money derived from suing someone over the death of another “blood money”.

    He wondered to me how anyone could ever enjoy having it or spending it.

    Forgiveness is the only medicine for such pain as everyone involved is in pain and the only cure is love in its many forms.

    My heart goes out to Mart’s friends and to the person who feels responsible, though some may ask where God was and feel let down by Him as well. Do you think sometimes we have to forgive God too as we look for answers and healing?

    Steve

  • Bill says:

    Good Morning,

    Mart, I’m so sorry to hear about the loss of your friends’ son. I know such pain impacts you and your family as well. So please accept our condolences. This has to be a difficult time for everyone who knew the young man who died.

    Your blog post follows a conversation I had last night with a wise man who told me, “Everyone is doing the best they can. Cut them some slack.”

    I had asked him for advice about confronting someone and he said, “Softer is better.”

    In other words, he took note of the fact – as you did in your blog post today – that we’re all human beings.

    You wrote:

    ** In a world populated with hurt and wronged people… who hurt and wrong others — accidentally or intentionally, mindlessly or mindfully, with or without a sense of consequence — everyone ends up losing something of their own life whenever something is taken at the expense of another. **

    That’s very similar to what my friend told me last night.

    We’re all doing the best we can – even when tragedy strikes by accident, as it did with your friends’ son.

    What the family did by reaching out to the person responsible was remarkable, truly an inspiration…and an example of compassion, forgiveness, and unconditional love that is rare these days.

    I feel terrible for all concerned. But I am grateful that you shared this with us today. It’s a reminder to me that we’re all human beings who are hurting and wronged. So when I interact with others…

    Softer is better.

    Love to All,

    Bill