I’ve seen that image, again.
She sits alone (you could not get any more alone) at her husband’s funeral and we all just sit here and shake our heads, because what else is there to do?
I’m speaking of the image of the Queen at prince Philip’s funeral, but you already knew that. You must have. Who could un see that quiet ache, just another handed to us by the raging depths of humanity.
I have hidden from life.
Strike that. I am hiding from life.
Because it wasn’t the Queen sitting there alone that day, it was me. I feel the pain that deeply.
It wasn’t someone else’s little boy sitting in the back of a war zone ambulance, parentless; it was mine. That one slices my heart.
I can’t hide from that darkness, though I want to.
I have to see it.
I have to say it: I am torn to shreds.
I cried in my husband’s arms the other night.
I mean I really cried, remembering a time in childhood where I was chosen last of all the children in my class to join the netball team.
I cried, at first, for the poor and beautiful little girl whose heart broke that day. But the depth of my tears came from the realisation that that very moment in time made me the person who will always go in to bat for anyone who needs me. That girl will try her very best to lift others, so that no one else has to feel the pain of being unloved, unworthy, unchosen.
Born is the true beauty of aching life.
And born is the paradox. The knowledge that the other needs to feel that very same empathy-birthing pain, in order to truly see. Even though I’d give anything to protect them from it.
You see it, don’t you?
This ache, this wide open ache of humanity, has birthed the very best of us. It has grown our hearts and gifted us the ultimate; the chance to hold and love others from the very core of our being.
But, goodness gracious me.
It hurts to be fully human.
Fully seeing, fully being…