by Carolyn Miller Parr
What can you say to the parent of a 17-year-old son who dove into a wave this summer and came up paraplegic? Or your 53-year-old family member who suddenly discovers he is riddled with cancer? Or “Sarah,” a church friend, who will soon celebrate her 56th wedding anniversary, holding her husband’s hand and watching his slow but unstoppable surrender to dementia and death?
Recently I have felt surrounded by grief. It knocks at my own door and I see it everywhere. I can smell it, touch it. Anyone who watched the Pope’s visit on TV saw plenty of it. He waded into it: immigrants, homeless people, prisoners, babies attached to oxygen. Francis knows how to speak to pain.