Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Every Last Drop

For those whose loved ones have lost friends…

Friend, I am no stranger to this myself. Feeling helpless, being sick with grief that while you may be just fine personally, there's still a family missing a loved one, and will spend the rest of their lives with something other than normal, loving relationships. It is truly heartbreaking, though but a small fraction of what they’re experiencing. And for those who have lost brothers, know that they won’t address it until they’re home. Be prepared for it. Out here, grieving is arrested. For the time being, there’s a mission that takes precedence. The living demand greater attention until they are well out of harm’s way.

We, those who did not know, but mourn nevertheless, are placed in a difficult position. I have reached but few conclusions.

We live our lives mindful of the fact that many have fallen in order that we may breathe free. We are solemn in the company of others, for there are always faces missing. We wring every last drop out of life, because that is what those who fell would want us to do. We remember their names at weddings, and support the widows our war has created. We adopt their children as our own, and provide for them as best we can. We tell them stories of their loved ones, of their sons or daughters, of their husbands or wives, and we speak of how who they were and how much they loved their families. We keep them alive in stories, lest we forget. Lest we act "American" and never truly care. We are charged with living in their stead, and thus we will live it well. Every last drop of life.

Yet first, first, we grieve, for this nation has lost a son.

Copyright © 2009, Ben Shaw, All Rights Reserved