Buncrana. Some Thoughts on How to Negotiate the Unthinkable.

I'm sure I'm not the only one haunted over the Buncrana tragedy on Sunday... and there's nothing anyone can do to change it. But today I had a thought and maybe it's something, I don't know.

I found myself this morning wanting to do something.. physically, actually DO something and then I realised what I really wanted was to make myself feel better, unburden myself of the haunting. And then I realised, no... there is nothing to 'do' here, there is enough heavy energy around this without adding my own to the burden. So how can I be with this? I received an answer. Let go of the wish to rescue someone [read, self] from pain and absorb what's already here. Feel it.

I mean this story already HAS a rescuer. A man swam out and was confronted in the most brutal of realities, the limitation of that role. He went in, while knowing that what was happening required a response so much greater than any he alone could provide, he still swam toward it. In the most desperate of realities, he did the only thing he could, he went in and he took hold of the baby. How symbolic is that? I want to join him now in holding what little I can. 

So here's what I feel. Weight and nausea. Actual spiritual weight of grief around me. I feel a sickening in my stomach. Of course, this grief is not 'mine', not directly, as in not something visiting my life in a way I have to live with it. But in a spiritual way, it is here, no doubt. So I'm taking time to feel it and let it in. And I've been crying my eyes out..

To actually take time out, sit down and feel the thing I don't want to feel is a strange thing. I'm good at escaping what I don't want to feel, but I also know, for each act of escapism, I am creating more suffering.

There's a voice inside me not getting this at all, viewing with cynicism, my contemplating someone else's grief, as self indulgent. This is the part of me who is afraid. She doesn't understand sharing, the movement towards another at a cost to herself, as an act of care. To this part I say, step aside... this is my call. THIS IS WHAT FEELS RIGHT SO THIS IS WHERE I GO. I am allowing a passage in for the feeling that's too much to bear, because some part of me has said that's the only way to show up here. "It's all you can do", let it in and carry some of this grief. Hold the baby, hold her mother, in spirit if nothing else. It's not too much to ask, and while it's not my reality, it's my duty to at least care. 

To care is a verb. It is an action. It means: To attach importance to something. 

I have often been puzzled by the phenomenon of people visiting scenes of tragedy and leaving flowers. I have to admit, I never understood that. Now I think I do. It's not about the flowers, the flowers are simply an offering, something visible to represent that those who leave them, have felt called towards, called to share, in grief.

We don't need flowers, we don't need a scene at which to place them, but we can find a place within ourselves, a pocket, a channel, a space in which to absorb and bear witness to the suffering of another.

So please, if you can, don't turn away, let it in. If it's too much for you, can you imagine what it is for those upon whom this grief has descended? Take some and hold it with the love and care and compassion it deserves. Let it hurt, let it cry. And remember to also care for the wound it opens in you. 

It know it will make no difference in the physical world but maybe in the spirit world it means something, because it's in the air and [I feel] it's asking to be absorbed.

If anyone is with me, feeling this weight... can I please ask that you take the time to sit with it and let it in, as much as you can. This woman, her family needs us to carry some of this heaviness. It doesn't matter that we're strangers. It changes nothing in the real world. What matters is that we don't turn away and deny it. 

Always, Amanda xoxo