Greater Than Our Suffering

“The most authentic thing about us is our capacity to create, to overcome, to endure, to transform, to love and to be greater than our suffering.” —Ben Okri (b. 1959); poet, novelist

I watched Oprah on Monday with my mom, being lazy the day after Easter. Maddi was sick with a fever. So, the day warranted some television time.

The show was about single-fatherhood and featured an interview with Matt Logelin, who lost his wife 27 hours after their little girl was born. Living in California, he began writing a blog initially to keep his family back in Minnesota updated. Then the writing became a place to put his pain. Quickly his journal drew thousands of mothers from across the nation to help him learn and grow as a parent. (Read more here)

The final guest on the show was Dana Canedy who lost her soldier in the war. He left behind a journal for their son, Jordan. Writing the story of their love, loss and left-behind-gift of fatherhood, Dana wrote a book titled, “A Journal for Jordan” (which I highly recommend!)

As I watched the hour of interviews, I was struck by one thing—as much as their lives continue their hearts hold deep pain that does not go away. Writing a blog, a book or even finding a new boyfriend doesn’t patch the void. This isn't to be confused with life breathing new meaning or the possibilities of new and exciting joys entering. I'm a strong believer in life being good. And life being good again.

There are two parallel paths: life and loss. You continue living (some better than others) because that is what life demands. You adjust, adapt and life alters (the pain comes along for the ride). And I guess it only makes sense. Because if you have loved and loved really well…how can that ever be separate from who you are? Wasn’t it the love that shaped you in the first place?

I believe love writes our definition and then guarantees we become everything we are meant to be.

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