People’s children are sick. Their grown children. Sick in ways that children should not be before their parents. Sick in ways that are wrong and heartbreaking and exhausting and unbelievable.

Sometimes this happens: The world turns strange in an instant. Things that were always remote theoretical possibilities become hideously concrete and immediate.

The world goes right on as usual. Driving. Shopping. Saying “have a nice day.” Closing out the miserable, in the additional misery of their un-usualness.

We sing “… we share our mutual woes.” But we don’t, precisely. Not when each misery is inevitably unique, however similar to that of others. What we do is not go right on as usual. Be aware, rather. Ask. Think about what may be needed. Shift the routine, at least a bit. Open up. Make some more room. Let it in.

red line embellished

Image: “Netchley Wood in the mist” by N Chadwick, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons