My heart breaks today for the families of flight 370, even more than it has been breaking for the past weeks. I can’t imagine waiting for so long, hoping for a miracle, only to be told by text message that your hoping had been in vain. Not that there’s a good way to deliver such news, but there are ways that are more bad than others, and I’m pretty sure text messaging is pretty close to the top of the bad list.
Still, the worst part has to be that they have essentially been asked to accept on faith that their loved ones are gone. Is it possible that all aboard have perished? Of course. Does that seem even the most likely scenario? Maybe. But after seventeen days of waiting, seventeen days when I am sure that they have poured every bit of faith they could muster into believing in some other answer—any other answer—they’ve now been told to quit hoping. They’ve been told to believe in the magic of untested technology to determine the final passage of those most important to them. I can understand their grief—and their anger.
Watching the news tonight, Brian commented that he was surprised by the families’ reactions, that by now they should have prepared themselves for this result. But even he, who clearly has so little understanding of the human capacity for hope and faith, couldn’t believe that such a final announcement would be made without some actual physical evidence.
I said earlier something that we say all the time: “I can’t imagine . .”, but the truth is, I can imagine. My imaginings might not be correct, and maybe in their situation I would feel totally different than how it seems I would feel, but I can imagine. I imagine I would be hurt, and angry, and lost, and a whole host of other emotions. I imagine that I would not want someone to shatter what faith I had managed to cultivate and preserve until such time as there was no other option. And, if it reached the point where my faith had to be shattered, I imagine I would not want it shattered by text message. I imagine I would be inconsolable.
And because I can imagine all of that and more, my heart breaks for them today.