We can never understand what those who have experienced war have been through. We can never take the grief of lost friends and colleagues from them. We cannot erase the things they’ve seen. We cannot restore sound sleep or carefree days, no matter how much we want to.
Last year I wrote of letting go and moving on now that Mr Collier has joined me on the outside. But it’s not that easy. The experience of war never leaves them. They return, but they are never the same. This time of year is rough.
Regardless of our political or ideological views we can be compassionate towards the human being standing before us, even if we don’t completely understand. The few remaining WWII veterans, Vietnam war veterans, Afghan veterans. Support staff. Current service men and women. People from other countries that have experienced war. Refugees from wars around the globe. Families. Mindfulness and compassion is the only way through.
We can stand beside them. We can listen. We can weep. We can hold space to let them be.
See previous years’ Remembrance Day posts:
- Last Man Standing – recounting the story of my husband’s experience being the last surviving member of his cohort.
- We Will Remember Them – an introduction to my great-grandfather and his WWI service