Photo by BK Farish

Photo by BK Farish

What do you do when you are overcome with pain, when sadness absorbs you? What do you do when you can’t find words to express your sadness and anger?

If Facebook is any measure of the human spirit, today many people are grieving the loss of one of the gifts to our human experience of life and joy. Robin Williams died and his death seems to have reached beyond the understanding of the human mind. It seems so unfair that one who brought us so much laughter could feel such despair.

So, what do we do when we don’t understand? What do we do when we don’t want to believe what we know to be true?

There is nothing that will make it all OK.  But I once wrote the following: “Feeling the pain is . . . . important for helping the body release the toxins created by suffering. The bone and sinew in the body are scarred by emotional trauma and hold the hurt well beyond the heart’s ache. Tears can provide a healing release for the whole system when they are allowed to flow.”

Some tears are best when soaking in solitude. But, it is also important to find a friend’s hand and hold it. It is good to know we are  not alone. Sometimes sharing tears can help us connect to the human spirit that animates us. When we are broken together we experience the spirit that comes only when the raw edges of pain touch each other. Mingled tears open us to the deeper connections in our lives that nourish us when despair invades.

Because we are connected, we will suffer with each other even as we will rejoice with each other. Being able to share these deep spaces in our lives will help us discover strength to endure bitter despair and drink sweet joy.