Tragedy bursts into our lives like a sudden thunderstorm

raining down grief, 



and once the rain subsides

leaving a path of sadness and destruction in its wake.


And though the initial tragedy may take but a moment

the heartache and sorrow remain

once the clouds have departed 

and the sun returns….

long after the rain.


Feelings of sadness from a tragedy

often linger after the rain

because there is no time limit on sorrow

no deadline to a person’s pain.


When we know someone who’s experienced a tragedy

who’s sorrow will not fade away

and we’re at a loss not knowing what to do

how to act 

or even what to say…


Sometimes the best we can do is sit with them in silence

nothing spoken…

nothing planned.

and let them rest their head upon our shoulders

while we gently hold their hand.


To show them that whatever happens

we will follow where they lead…

to offer them our friendship 

and let them know

they can take as much time as they need.


For though we cannot take away their sorrow…

perhaps we can absorb some of their pain…

each time their memories and their sorrow returns…

long after the rain.

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There will be moments of sorrow in our life…down whatever path we choose…moments when we fail…moments when we lose.


This fog of sorrow can descend unexpectedly…anytime…night or day…moments we are hurt…moments someone we love has passed away.


This fog of sorrow is usually accompanied by moments of uncertainty…moments filled with indecision and fears…our heart and soul feel empty while our eyes are filled with tears.


The fog of sorrow often changes us…we are lost…we wonder if and when…this new person we’ve become…will ever be happy again.


But rays of happiness wait quietly behind the sorrow…patiently behind the tears…and in the end shine through our tears and make our fog of sorrow disappear.


For when we allow happiness to shine through the tears that fill our eyes…we see before us a rainbow…stretching across our sky.


And in that rainbow we find our hope…knowing it won’t be an easy ride…

but ready to climb out of the fog…to see what’s on the other side.


Perhaps that’s why we love rainbows….for they remind us when we’re feeling our worst…they dwell within our tears…waiting to be dispersed.


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Our lives will have their share of joy and happiness

with a sprinkling of sorrow and pain

They will see their share of sunshine.

They will see their share of rain.


At times we will find ourselves in the midst of a joy…

like we’ve never felt before…

when all of a sudden sorrow

comes knocking on our door.


At times we will find ourselves consumed with sorrow…

wondering if it will ever end

and suddenly find joy waiting for us

just around the bend.


Knowing life can change in an instant…

No matter what we plan…

We try to remember to enjoy the joy

every moment that we can.


And when sorrow is a visitor

We try never to lose sight…

how her shadows will eventually fade

In the joyfulness of light. 


Knowing life is unpredictable

always changing

and has no guarantees

we close our eyes

we fold our hands

and we get down on our knees.


We pray that fate or destiny 

or the universe will be kind…

that when sorrow enters our life…

joy is never far behind.

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When our heart is filled with sorrow we find it hard to comprehend

why this happened in our life…why to our family or friends?


Yet it’s preposterous to think in a world where every living thing must die

that sorrow will overlook us...will somehow pass us by.


Just as joy has the capacity to surprise….sorrow has the capacity to shock.

The pendulum of life swings back and forth...at any hour of the clock.


In those inevitable moments when sorrow descends upon our land

It helps for me to envision it…like a castle in the sand.


At the onset a castle built of sadness stands tall...seizing our full attention.

Our life has slowed and is now crowded with misery, fear and tension.


Our face which one time was awash in smile is now in constant frown

but soon our tears, like the ocean’s waves, begin to tear that castle down.


It happens ever so slowly leaving us to wonder if we can go on

until one day we awake to find that castle is now gone.


We find we can be happy again, and though we’ll never be the same

our sorrow has dissolved back into the sands from which it came.


Certainly sorrow has done her damage, causing torment, causing pain

and in her wake upon our heart a lasting scar remains.


But that scar not only reminds us of the sorrow we’ve been through

It also shows, no matter what the pain, that we can heal too.


It shows we can survive...it shows we can withstand

It shows even our deepest sorrow will eventually dissolve…


like a castle in the sand.

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What can I say to ease your sorrow? In a lifetime of words I’ve spoken…how do I find the right ones…

to ease a heart that’s broken?


When I see that you are hurting…that you’re struggling

know this to be true…

Because I know you…admire you…love you…

my heart is breaking too.


I am struggling with how to act…knowing I can’t make your pain go away.

I’m struggling knowing what to do….finding the right words to say.


I know the right words at the right time

might soothe your heart and brighten your day. 

While the right words at the wrong time

will fall like the first snow of winter and quickly melt away.


I am also struggling because it’s often hard to determine…often hard to see

exactly when the right time is…exactly what the right words might be.


With that in mind…I offer these words today…it’s all that I can do…

Read them now if you are ready…

or wait till the time is right for you.


Know that just like other setbacks you have faced 

you will emerge from this one…it’s true!

for scars are merely a part of life…and can be beautiful too. 


Know that as sad as you are there will come a time…

only you know where…or when…

you will hurt a little less…

smile a little more 

and find your happiness again.


Know that as long as I am living …through your sunshines and your rains

I will rejoice in all your joys…I will share in all your pains. 


And finally, no matter what happens to you in life…

let this in your heart be known…

as long as I am living…


you will never be alone.

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What if the death of any person anywhere hurled us into blackness

a world of darkness we could not shun

as if when that person was taken from this world

someone permanently shrouded the sun.


What if it led to a sadness so pervasive…even on the most beautiful days of Spring

we cold not see the flowers bloom…we could not hear the songbirds sing.


What if the death of any person anywhere threw us into a hole of sadness out of which we could not climb

an anguish…a sorrow so profound…it could not be absorbed by time…


What if the death of any person anywhere in the world hurled us into blackness

a world of darkness we could not shun…

Perhaps then we’d find a way to do away with wars,

with bombs…

with killing…


with guns.

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He was already a man of few words

but her death left him completely silent 

and bereft

as if she took to heaven with her


whatever few words he had left.

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As he watched her sigh so plaintively

a sigh filled with sorrow and chagrin

it made him wonder 

if it isn’t sighs


that initiate the wind.

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She did not want anyone to see her grief, 

her sorrow 

her sadness

her pain

So she waited for the clouds to form 


and did her crying in the rain.

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