Today’s Word: ‘Grief’ as in… it’s like trying to handle a basketball while wearing oven mitts.

In the past three days I’ve been having two different experiences with two different groups of people dealing with grief.

The first experience is with a small group of dear friends that I know and love deeply. In the space of just a couple of days, the news of the deaths of two life-long friends-one of which was somewhat expected, the other coming as a complete surprise. While I didn’t know those who had died, I was feeling deep emotions with and for our friends. News of these deaths brought moments of deep sadness and introspection mingled with love and gratitude.

Grief does that; it brings those experiences together. And we, for lack of a better phrase, float around in it. Maybe that is the best phrase.

The second experience has been with a group that is anything but small; the group is global. Whatever one may think or know of Kobe Bryant is secondary to the fact that Kobe was known and loved around the world. When I heard the news of the tragic accident which claimed the lives of 9 people I’d never met and will never know, I was caught off guard by how I responded. In both instances while I was receiving the news, I realized that I was holding my breath. For several moments, and without realizing it, I just held my breath. There was no breath left in me.

Grief does that. Whether it’s the death of someone we know well or simply know of, or it impacts those we deeply love, it can leave us breathless. Dealing with grief can be like trying to handle a basketball while wearing oven mitts. That it’s difficult to hold on to is an understatement. Death and grief takes us off guard; our emotional footing is challenged and we can stumble and feel like we’re falling.

That’s when it’s good to just find a bench to sit on and feel the love of others sitting around us, sitting with us.


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