As individuals, we all know pain and loss. It is the rare person who escapes sorrow. But when one of us hurts, others are there to offer comfort. Communal tragedy is different. When something bad happens to us as a community—whether that is a school, a town, a people or a country—we struggle to figure out how to tend to our own wounds while taking care of each other. Drawing on compassion, empathy, justice and love, we can bring out the best in each other, and perhaps, find a theology of hope in the midst of despair.
Grief begins to feel like the humidity of northeast summer: a ubiquitous discomfort that we’ve come to accept as normal.