Letting Them Rest

The value of life is crystallized in its brevity.

I was thinking about that this morning, reading about the forever-altered city of Newtown, Connecticut as they face the one year anniversary of their Literal Hell. The people there want no memorial. They want no more upheaval. Hell is exhausting because there is just no rest, and Newtown needs some rest. When one can’t even answer the question, “Nice to meet you, where are you from?” without eliciting tears, there can be no escape from pain. Newtown just wants peace. From the linked NY Times article:

“If we build it, they will come,” said E. Patricia Llodra, Newtown’s first selectman. “So we have to not build it.”

How strange that such raging black violence brings about such a focused effort for gentle white peace. We value that which is torn from us, those deep soul-feeding things we think we can never get back once they’ve been destroyed.

“As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn't leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I'd still be in prison.” -Nelson Mandela

“As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison.” -Nelson Mandela

No one shakes hands in Newtown now. Genuine and tender hugs have replaced firm handshakes for women and men alike. The sentence, “She’s a mom” is translated there to mean, “She lost her child.” The martyred teachers are called simply The Guardians. Green, the school’s color, the color of life, is everywhere. So is the very conscious decision to choose love.

Life may be brief, but love, though it evolves and changes and moves and grows in so many different ways, is eternal.

Tomorrow, a great man will be laid to rest. He, too, in the midst of unspeakable struggle and pain, chose love, and peace. How do we best honor these precious lives? By letting them rest, both in peace and in love. By extending grace to our friends, and more importantly, our enemies, by loving one another deeply, and, with music:

“You can truly value life, when you have looked Death in the eyes and held its hand.” -Lionel Suggs

“You can truly value life, when you have looked Death in the eyes and held its hand.” -Lionel Suggs

This entry was posted in current events, death, Grace, Grief, love, Music, Nelson Mandela, Newtown Connecticut Shooting, pain, Peace, Suffering and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Letting Them Rest

  1. One thing we all share is death. What we do not share is how we choose to know it.

  2. Pingback: Reflections ~ Understanding Choices | Victoria Adams' Reading Alcove

You look like you want to say something. Go right ahead.