allowed to grieve
so the previous post touched on a little about what makes this job not so much a job. of course it's not always so positive.
today was spent on the road an hour east in goldsboro trying to find some art to go with a follow-up to the tragic story of four people who died on the 4th when their truck full of fireworks blew up on ocracoke island.
all four were members or had some connection to the the lord's table church.
so that's where i started. and so did every tv station in the area.
i hate these kind of things. especially when you have no choice but to work with a large pack of other journalists armed with tripods and mics... like a school of piranha waiting to attack any new news morsel. times like this it's easy to see why the profession is often despised.
well there was no memorial set up yet. the church doors were locked and no one was answering my calls. and i can't blame them.
though my intentions were good. and one of the reasons (if not the most important) we're here is to make sure these victims aren't just seen as victims but as the human beings they are is not often easily (or quickly) understood by the survivors we descend upon. once again... i can't blame them.
but senior pastor bill wilson was in and he finally came out to welcome all of us in for an interview. a very generous and tough thing to do. one of the victims, terry holland, was like a son to him as they'd known each other for twenty-something years and holland had been the building maintenance worker for the past few years.
anyway... there was still nothing here in terms of active storytelling art that we needed. but i did notice a lot of tissue boxes laying around from sunday's service. that was storytelling in what the congregation had to go through the day before.
sadly sunday was the first time in eleven years that pastor wilson dreaded going to church.
but he did and this is what he told his flock. i think it's apropos to a lot of life's tragic misfortunes...
"we need to be allowed to mourn and grieve and weep and cry and you do all those. it's natural. it's part of the process.
but after you've mourned, grieved and wept, you need to submit.
need to submit to the fact that it did happen.
you didn't want it to happen, but it did happen.
there's nothing you could have done about it.
you need to forgive and not blame anybody.
you can't battle 'why this? why that'.
then you need to celebrate the positive things in the individual's life.
during the bad times you have to remember the good times.
and we had some good times through the years.
and we will work our way through this process.
there are times i'm stronger, times i'm weaker. same for you. but we draw strength from each other. there's no 'big potato', no 'little potato' here. just mash potatoes. we're all family here."