I have a dear friend.
Her sister was brutally murdered when she was 18.
We talk a lot about grief, processing this world, PTSD, and the best way to go forward.
It’s a fun game.
A game usually around a couple glasses of wine, about who’s grief is worse. It is not a game for the light of heart but for those of us who have lost our Loves, we find incredible freedom in being able to talk through grief and trauma.
I personally find solace in the fact that my daughter was sick. We did everything to make sure she had the best possible life. In the end, her body gave out.
To listen to my friend…..random acts of violence, terror for terrors sake, to take a precious life knowing how precious and limited we are in this world, I can’t wrap my head around it.
I really can’t. Which make my conversations with my friend even more interesting.
There is no more intimate, variable, unpredictable emotion than grief.
As a society, we suck at grief. Really, we are the worst. We don’t talk about it, we blame, we hide, we ignore, we prescribe and when we grow tired of those who ‘just cant seem to move on’ – we move on.
And we make loss political.
And alas the complexity of this picture. I will not comment on the judge giving the defendant a hug. I will not comment on ten years. I probably agree with your opinions.
But leave Brandt Jean alone. His hug was not motivated by anything other than grief and the need to connect with others around the death of his brother.
He is 18 years old.
His big brother was shot.
He has to live the rest of his life without this person. This hug was grief motivated; maybe healing motivated, maybe faith motivated. It was not politically motivated.
And because we cant talk about grief and loss as vulnerable people, we turn it into politics. Politics is easier to process than grieving a life without a Love.
I tell my friend often how brave she is to move through this life knowing the horrific things that can happen.
She tells me the same.
We should respect the grieving process. Let a boy mourn his brother. Keep him out of the process. He goes to bed now wondering if he should have hugged that woman; trying to find peace in God. None of that is fair.
And ultimately- he does not need our opinion.
You do not have an iota of how complex grief is until you navigate it. Let a brother do what a brother needs to do. Be grateful and hopeful he continues a path to peace and to conduct change in a place of love, not anger.
For the love of God. Just let him give a hug.