Health care is a basic human right, not a privilege. For some reason, we’ve allowed ourselves as Americans to be fooled into accepting that one must be blessed with “means” to actuate appropriate health care. As a nation we have failed to realize that our health care system is a barometer of our society’s value for human life.

-Me

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Caught Off Guard

Every once in a while, I am overcome by the need to cry. It weighs on my heart. It is an overwhelming physical tug from my eyes to my chest that struggles with it’s desire to heave. My soul wrenches with the need for such an obvious release of emotion.

It catches me off guard. There is often no readily apparent reason for the emotion, for the sudden gasping and internal struggle. I believe it is a culmination of life, a culmination of the joys I experience and those encounters that leave me with only confusion.

One of my coworkers has a son in Iraq. You know, Iraq, that far away place where our troops have taken residence for so long fighting that war that no one seems to REALLY understand, unless of course you are in upper management (isn’t that how it goes with most things?) Said coworker left an assortment of things her son had sent her from Camp Fallujah in Iraq (his camp.) There was some money, there were some medallions, a couple pictures, and two memorial leaflets. I skimmed over the assortment with minimal interest, until my eye caught on one memorial, one one specific aspect of it. Birthdate. The boy who died was born in 1985. That’s a lot younger than me. It was a jolt. My mind thinking, this is a baby! A kid!

Now of course, 1985, this man is 21 or 22 years old. But still. All of it started to make less sense than it ever has. And I’m not talking war. I’m talking about parents making funeral arrangements for their children. The WRONGNESS of it all. I was caught off guard. I am caught off guard.

I stood in this kitchen at work, and I mourned. I felt grief. And I knew, I knew in such a personal way, that the grief I felt for this man I never knew and never would know, was not even existent in comparison to what his mother felt. What she is feeling, still.

5 comments:

Penny said...

I think the hardest thing a person will ever, ever face is the loss of a child.

I feel for everyone out there who has lost one.

No one should have to bury their own child.

Minnesota Nice said...

Sarah, deeply feeling such unexpected moments of collective grief enhances our human-ness and enriches our soul-depth. To live fully is to feel all things fully.
Laugh when you can. Cry when you must.

Chris said...

I cannot imagine.
When i see news and other footage of the war/s i see young men. Some who probably havent even been shaving for very long. This is not right. I think about this often Sarah.
I do not remember crying so much as in the past 4 months.
I dont know where i am going with this comment but i do relate to what you wrote.

julia said...

I have moments like that, too. I don't like them while they're happening, but I do think they help cleanse the psyche a bit.

ArtSweet said...

Very well said, Sarah.

I wish McCain had not backed down: these young men and women's lives have been wasted on a foolish war.

It makes me furious. And sad.