Monday, July 28, 2014

mixed emotions

The world witnessed three planes go down in a week's time. In one week I spent one day in a hospital that specializes in cancer treatment, I attended one funeral, I celebrated one birthday.

My country was in mourning and paid tribute to the dead after flight MH17 got shot down above Eastern Ukraine. We have watched the Ukrainian people suffer from a distance, suddenly we were personally involved, in mourning and angry. Some locals were seen to treat the site of this horrible crash disrespectfully, but we saw others cry bitterly for the losses of those who perhaps never stopped to consider the events in the Ukraine. One lady brought a shoe she found, saying: "They can identify someone by a shoe, can't they?"

Source: FB page "Franciscanen Gerechtigheid"
A friend of mine flying from Burkina Faso sent an email saying she wasn't on the plane that crashed on it's way from Ouagadougou to Algiers. She was to fly later that night, departing from Ouagadougou, but with a different airline. It made me consider the things that would've been said, had she been on that fatal flight. How she was a good person, doing good work for a neglected minority in West-Africa, in the prime of her life, recently married and how unjust it seems for her life to abruptly end in such a horrific way. As it is, I'm grateful to know she's safe, but I also realise that instead others died who are also all of the above (good people, in the prime of their life, doing fine things).

This week (and every week) many thousands of people suffered loss. I haven't even begun to mention all the other world events, for instance in Gaza and Iraq, where new losses are added in an incessant stream. Yet at the end of such a week, I celebrated that I've lived yet another year. Not because I deserve to, but by the grace of God. I celebrated that there are people around me who love me and who are glad to be part of my life. On the same day, in another continent, my sister-in-law said goodbye to her aunt who died as a result of cancer. Yet even the coming funeral will be another occasion to celebrate Life.

No comments: