About a week ago I was getting my hair cut. My stylist mentioned partway that the woman scheduled after me had recently lost her 3-year-old in a pedestrian car crash. I had heard about this accident from my neighbor the week before. When my appointment was over, I made eye contact with this mother as she reacted favorably to Audrey and I felt so sad. I wished I could have shared my sympathy. I wished I could have told her that I understood a speck of the personal hell she was going through. I wished I could have hugged her and told her I cared about her and her sorrow. But I couldn’t really.
This experience struck me. It reminded me of an article I had read recently called, Everyone Around You is Grieving. Go Easy. It is a beautiful and honest look at how everyone is going through something. I value this message:
We need to remind ourselves just how hard the hidden stories around us might be, and to approach each person as a delicate, breakable, invaluable treasure—and to handle them with care.
So, on this sixth anniversary, I want to echo the author’s words to “go easy.” Life is hard and unpredictable. While we will never know what everyone is going through, we can respond to others with greater humanity and love just as we hope others would treat us.
While there are moments when I resent what happened to me and how it “disrupted” my life, I am grateful for how it changed me and how it changed the way I look at others. While it can be painful to open our hearts to hurting people, it is, in my estimation, one of the greatest things we can do in this life.