After 19-year-old Specialist Holly McGeogh was killed by a bomb in Kirkuk, his mother was visited by the marines who came to break the news to her. The mother, Paula Zasadny, talks about this in the documentary ‘Last Letters Home’, saying:
“It was the lightest tap on my door that I’ve ever heard in my life. I opened the door and I see the men in the dress greens and I knew. I immediately knew. But I thought that if, as long as I didn’t let him in, he couldn’t tell me. Then it-none of that would’ve happened. So he kept saying, “‘Ma’am; I need to come in.’ And I kept telling him, ‘I’m sorry, but you can’t come in.'”
Pain. How we fight it! We are willing to make adjustments, to settle and even to quell the voice of our conscience to avoid pain. If only we’d let it in, realizing that darkness is a necessary part of finding the light. Imagine pain to be a dark tunnel you have to travel through to get on with your life – to reach your dreams. There’s always light at the end of the tunnel, but we can’t see it. We have to make that journey to find the light.
It’s only when we allow pain in that we can understand our own journey and destination in life. Pain allows us to look into the dark places of our being and allow the light of grace into them. Only when we acknowledge that we are hurting can we allow ourselves to be healed.
On Pain – Khalil Gibran
Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding.
Even as the stone of the fruit must break, that its heart may stand in the sun, so must you know pain.
And could you keep your heart in wonder at the daily miracles of your life, your pain would not seem less wondrous than your joy;
And you would accept the seasons of your heart, even as you have always accepted the seasons that pass over your fields.
And you would watch with serenity through the winters of your grief.
Much of your pain is self-chosen.
It is the bitter potion by which the physician within you heals your sick self.
Therefore trust the physician, and drink his remedy in silence and tranquillity:
For his hand, though heavy and hard, is guided by the tender hand of the Unseen,
And the cup he brings, though it burn your lips, has been fashioned of the clay which the Potter has moistened with His own sacred tears.