There is not much which is good about waking up on Good Friday without your children. However, one unexpected benefit of this pain has been without a doubt my increased empathy for people who go through extreme suffering in their lives.
Not only am I reminded daily of my privilege as a white, educated woman living in a peaceful country with benefits, but in my experience of a common human suffering, my mind and heart often turns to those who have experienced sufferings far worse than I can ever imagine.
When at times I feel my losses deeply and painfully, I cannot help but think of the families who have been torn apart by war, starvation or the brutalities of an unjust world which has, by an unfortunate roll of the dice of life fallen upon them to endure.
The pain this invokes is more brutal than I ever imagined, not simply because of my own daily pain, but rather because I now feel more connected to the pain of others. There is a part of me that can no longer hide behind my fortunate existence. Although I had awareness before and a strong sense of social justice, this concern was I have to admit, largely on the intellectual side.
It is the touching of this experience that we fail so often to truly teach or communicate. This is why stories are the most powerful method of linking us with this part of human experience, forging an empathy, care and concern for our fellow humans. For it is often not until we experience ourselves the brutality of the fall of the dice, that our gaze then turns to others.