I went to a memorial for a child today. I walked in to a quiet room, people sitting hunched, tense, desperately waiting for anyone, anything to shatter the brittle silence. The father, an accountant, got up and gave me a hug. We spoke a moment softly, briefly, whispers of 'I can't imagine, there is no way to understand, no words that can convey... yes you will see him on the stairs, around the corner for years to come'. We parted, both of us teary and then I smiled, 'Well darn it!' I announced, 'You have to hug me again, tax for making me cry!' He smiled and hugged me, a moment of soft joy and the room brightened a touch and the tension eased with the gentle spray of compassionate humor Loki shone through me.

Loki. Loki's children. This event provides perspective. You see, last week I worked through a devotion, a meditation, an ordeal that focused on Loki's binding. I should know by now I am always surprised at the directions the meditations take me. I had thought it would be about the pain, the uncertainty, vengeance, and cruelty. But no, Loki isn't that selfish, it was about the grief of losing a child. His children, one driven insane, one murdered. 'Do you think Sigyn is the only one who suffered?' he snarled at me. I was shown my own two children, two young boys, and it was as though a choice was being offered; cruel whispers- 'which one?' In my heart I beg Loki and Sigyn were not made to choose.

To lose a child, any child, is a life changing experience. What was you, what was your future is now gone. You are impotent, the future ceases to have meaning, it ceases to have purpose. You are forever bound to that moment, to the pain of that grief; bound with the entrails of your child to unforgiving stone, emotional venom pouring through your mind.

What you don't know is the night I did the binding devotion, the night I lay bound living with the horror of Loki's anguish was the night my friends son was killed. I found out when I returned to work the next week. I was still processing the devotion and to discover what had happened put to shame the horror, the trial I had endured. You see, my ordeal only lasted two hours. My friend, he will live with this ordeal the rest of his life. Loki, Sigyn, Frigga, Odin- they have eternity to ponder the loss of their children.

My friend, we had only been work associates but now we will always be bound by this brief sharing of grief, this brief sharing of compassion. I am honored he gave that to me. We should all be honored and humbled the Gods shared with us this grief for it can show us the road to compassion.

3/29- Post note: I didn't even realize it then but did the other day. My friend, who lost his son, is a slim built man with red hair.

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