I sometimes feel as if my heart has been ripped wide open. It isn’t on my sleeve, but it is oh-so-vulnerable. I am exposed to the elements. Feelings come easier, but they are not easier to withstand. They have the power to topple, to open the floodgates. And they do.
News that a suicide bomber visited a mosque in Yemen made me angry. A car accident that took the lives of a local mother and her son made me weep. A needless plane crash made me question. Another person “likes” the online magazine for bereaved parents, and I sigh. Tragedy happens to people everyday. All salt on the wound. The empathy hurts – it physically hurts. The universe can be a cold, senseless place.
Last week, a little boy named Seth asked the world to wear yellow for him today, March 27th (#wearyellowforseth). Seth has an immune disorder which isolates him from the world. I watched the video he and his parents posted and wept. The little guy touched my heart. He is living his life in a sterile hospital room, and is still able to muster a smile, to summon the courage to make such a public plea for human connection. A little act, like wearing a yellow t-shirt, has the ability to make someone’s day.
The willingness to feel for one another is not for the faint of heart. To be able to feel for someone who is hurting while you are hurting is hard, but it is human. To understand that terrible, terrible things happen in the world that we wish no one should have to endure, but that somehow people do. Together is how we learn to carry on.
We all have our struggles. Empathy and acts of humanity have the ability to bring us a little closer together. This grief isn’t easy to endure. I am so grateful that others have decided to feel with me.