April 7th – “Thoughts And Prayers”

It’s difficult to think of anything today beyond the bus accident in Saskatchewan. We take it as a given that when we say goodbye to our loved ones in the morning, we will say goodnight to them at the end of the day. How can that not happen? We all know that the shockwaves from this tragedy will extend far beyond this small stretch of highway.

We think of the families of those who lost their lives, and what it will mean for their future.

We think of the survivors who will recover physically, but will live the rest of their lives with a haunting point of reference.

We think of the First Responders who must have seen and heard things that will come back to them again and again and again.

We think of the town of Humboldt and the province of Saskatchewan that will grieve deeply while at the same time pulling together to make sure these young lives are honoured and remembered.

Finally, we think about every parent who puts their child on a bus to go somewhere (which is basically every parent). We will all feel a little more fragile and a little more vulnerable as we wave goodbye.

The term “thoughts and prayers” has come under criticism lately, as an empty statement that brings little change. When applied to certain situations that require change, particularly in the form of political action, I can understand the skepticism and frustration surrounding this phrase. But in this case, I’m not sure what else fits. It is our way of saying, “we stand in solidarity with you, we share your pain as parents, grandparents, and human beings, and we understand within the core of our own fragile humanity, the devastation of this moment in time.”

The first step on the road to healing is knowing that you are being held in love by others.

Our thoughts and prayers to the people of Humboldt, we are holding you in love.