Sifting Sorrow


A view of the Charles River, Summer 2008

Today was difficult. After seeing a terror attack strike my beloved city, how could you go on and still be the same? 

I tried. Before catching my bus, I quickly nabbed a Globe. (Mainly for my scrapbook, to document for future generations to remember.)

“Marathon terror…”    “Tragedy Halts Marathon…” “Tight Security Will be Rule Today…”  I read the articles along the commute. About the boys who lost their legs. About the 8 year old victim. About the unsung heroes.

But arriving to work, it was back to business. I needed to be there mentally, emotionally, for myself, and for my patients. I picked right up with where my nursing duties had left off prior to the long weekend. During the workday, my heart was heavy, but I couldn’t express it. There just wasn’t time for it.

It was a long day. Dreadfully long. By sunset, as I descended upon my neighborhood, still afresh with police and FBI presence, I was about ready to burst. The insides of my chest, fresh grief wanting to spill out onto the sidewalk.

     These families affected… they are my neighbors!

     These victims…they are the patients whom I serve!  

     These runners… they are the ones whom I admire daily!

     These streets…they are the streets I call home!  

I had never realized I had such devout love for a city..a people.. until yesterday and today.

Here I am, still sifting sorrow. My mind still in a daze. My memories colliding. I think about the terror from yesterday, and the phone calls from my worried family from afar. Yesterday, Mak was distraught simply watching the news. A genocide survivor, Mak understands terror and fear, all too well. A simple scene from yesterday’s bombing can trigger a lifetime of nightmares for her.  And the same for Ba. When Ba called, he asked me what kind of bomb it was. “A bomb? A grenade?” No one else had asked me that at the time. It didn’t occur to me till later, that Ba probably knew first hand, because he fled war and crept through the minefields of the Killing Fields.


Suffering. It connects us all. Some are affected harder than others. Where our words fail, where our actions lack, may God hear our prayers and provide us strength in times of our weakness.

Lord, be near.

“For dark is night to you
Depths are height to you
Far is near but Lord I need to hear from You

Be near, O God.
Be near, O God of us
Your nearness is to us our good

Be near, O God.
Be near, O God of us
Your nearness is to us our good.”

– Be Near, by Shane and Shane


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