After many hours of silence, of dead air, news of safety from a son in a land far away hit by an earthquake and tsunami, is like getting permission to breath again. An occasion of joy. A moment to celebrate.
But of those who have lost everything, lost family, friends, livelihood—in effect, life—the suffocation of disbelief, of shock, and the finality of absence will stretch on as though terminally.
How to comfort? How to live with the guilt of survival? How to live? How to mourn? What path again to acceptance, to life, perhaps to joy? Such ancient questions.
To approach these questions with words of humility, with reverence for the present, with clarity of occasion, and in the understanding of "otherhood"—is this not the task of being human?