We’re totally crap at a whole lot of things. But mourning? We know how to do that.
We’re useless at bringing a foetus into our world – one conceived, still-born, delivered with unbearable deformity in a poor or rural community. But, no matter how fleeting or compromised the life, we know how to mourn its end.
We neglect our babies, fail to nourish and nurture them, hope they’ll survive, in environments unwelcoming, dangerous. Failing to weep when they die is not an option – we must mourn. We’ve never failed to remember that.
Care nothing about the education we provide our youngsters, how it relegates them to a life on the outskirts in every imaginable sense. Yet, mourn – when they disappear forever from this awful frame of life.
Keep them on the straight and narrow, why won’t you? They must learn that life is tough, you say. And when trouble comes, they’ll know how to mourn – you’ve shown them that.
If we fail to protect our children from rapacious grandfathers, fathers, brothers, sons, pastors, teachers, friends and neighbours – and they are stripped of all, their life aside – we must mourn them. Mustn’t we? It’s that, or die ourselves.
Money stolen, corners cut. When the winds and rains come – as they must – when young lives are swept away or trapped or lost, annihilated in the mayhem we knew to dodge, we’ll mourn.
Perhaps it’s the only thing we know.