In times of triumph we look to share our joy. When we are overwhelmed by tragedy, the support of friends and family can be the elixir we need to heal. Even the most introverted among us can't deny that we are wired for community. Just when we convince ourselves we don't need - or want - anyone's help, we realize we can't function without it.
At no time is this more clear than when we face a significant loss. While our outer shell begins to harden into a barrier between us and the world, an inner voice cries out for comfort and connection. We may not want to explain what happened or how we feel, but we desire desperately to be understood and know we are not alone.
The loss of a child - whether an infant or an octogenarian - is an unparalleled source of grief for the parents, siblings, and communities in which the loss takes place. Every 75 seconds a family loses a child - leaving more than 400,000 parents to mourn each year. But it so often goes unspoken and unrecognized that many do not know the prevalence of their experience - nor the many neighbors who share their burden.
This Sunday, after millions of families across the country gather to give thanks, a different type of gathering will take place in Washington, D.C. - uniting people of many diverse backgrounds and worldviews in solidarity over their shared experience of losing a child. Leaders from different faith traditions will offer practices to honor the legacies and lives of children who have passed and foster community among survivors.
Coming together will not bring back a loved one who has left this world, but it can contribute to strengthening those left behind and bringing them hope. If you have experienced the unimaginable loss of a child of any age I encourage you to attend. If you know someone who has faced this challenge, please help spread the word about this important resource.
In Silence and Solidarity: Reflections and Meditations on the Loss of a Child
November 27 - 4:00pm
2111 Florida Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20008