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On April 6, 2018 the Humboldt Broncos tragedy changed Canada. That seems like a broad statement, but it’s true. In fact, people from around the globe send their commitment to the fundraising project – one effort by one woman provided a response. Parents, brothers, sisters, extended family, neighbours, friends and strangers connected. Even people who didn’t know those who lost their life or those who were injured, wanted to reach out. Social media proved to be a great way to connect, to show love and compassion. Why was all of this important? Was it to help? Perhaps to share their pain? Maybe to enter into the sorrow with the families? As the quote suggests, through sorrow and sharing it with others, we learn. We learn about love, trust and sharing in new ways of living with grief. We learn that being vulnerable allows others to come into our pain . . . and that is healing, even in small ways.

I, for one, could not watch a news broadcast without tearing. As a hockey famly, we were eager to put a hockey stick on our front porch to pay tribute, to remember and to remind others. There’s something else in the picture of the hockey stick beside our front door and that is the clear circle that a crock made on the floor. When I look at this image I see what was and what had been through the winter – a dusty, messy porch floor. When I moved the crock to make room to take the picture, I saw the clean circle, and choose not to sweep,  clean or erase before taking the picture. What do you take from the image? Is there a before and after for you? There usually is in most life tragedies. Life can be messy . . . and grief can be painful  . . . and emotional pain can be hard to live with.

And so we connect in whatever way is helpful to share our pain, to take us through an agonizing time. Maybe we can help others and ourselves to make it a little easier. Perhaps we draw on our faith or understanding to strength us until we find the words.

Jot down some notes in your grief journal. Write whatever comes into your mind. Try not to edit or fix. Leave it for a while and when you come back to it, it may be just the answer to give you peace.