easier to bear

It's a terrible thing to feel alone in the world, as if no one can understand our suffering. Since Calvin was born I've felt that way much, and recently. It feels helpless and black, as if the only way out of it is to move through it—to weep in solitude. But I've discovered another path, which is to open up to others and in doing so learn that everyone struggles and hurts in one way or another. I have learned that this thing called grief cannot be measured or compared, knows no hierarchy and cannot be escaped. We will all meet suffering in our lives and somehow, knowing I am part of a human condition that every one of us shares—grief—makes it somewhat easier to bear.

photo by Michael Kolster


  1. I know the feeling. Before my surgery, my freshman year, I would cry alone. But when my friends discovered this, they started making a habit to look across the quad at 2 and 3 in the morning to see if my light was on. Then they would walk through the snow to embrace me. Consider yourself hugged.

  2. Yes. Suffering. When the Zen master Roshi was asked why it exists, he said, "No reason."

  3. The "human condition", they call it. Yes...we all share in unspeakable ways the peaks and valleys, the joys and sorrows, the beginnings and endings, all the myriad parts of living. It is a comfort to me to know I'm not alone, and I hope it is to you too, Christy. I need that feeling that others have lived it and truly understand my ups and downs. We are each other's family, truly.