There are so many reasons that women have to be angry and disappointed by men. I don’t need to talk about that here but I a few days ago, I listened to the “Cross Country Checkup” program on CBC radio regarding the Humboldt Broncos bus crash tragedy. Most of the callers happened to be men so I got to listen for about an hour to them talking about their feelings. It felt so nourishing and beautiful to me that I wanted to share it with you.
I heard a man talk about how, in the early hours of the morning, instead of putting his three-and-a-half month old son in the crib after getting him back to sleep, he holds him for a few more hours just because he realizes how precious his life is.
I heard bus drivers and coaches and writers and hockey players talk about love. Community. Bonding. Teammates. The importance of family; birth family, billet family and the family of the community. The forever bond between players.
I heard their voices break. And crack. And their silence when it became too much.
They talked about the feeling of being kicked in the stomach. The agony and pain of parents. What it felt like to feel the fear of putting your kid on a bus for a long trip.
They talked about their hearts breaking. Their deep deep pain.
And they talked a lot about their love and appreciation for how the community was coming together. They had deep wisdom about the importance of it. They knew that this is something not to be lived through alone. But in community. In family. In friendship. Together.
They spoke with deep knowing about the intense level of trauma touching so many people left behind. And the importance of healing.
And even in all the pain, they talked about love. Hope. Courage. Their belief in the power of community, friendship and family to heal from tragedy.
Emotional. Real. Authentic. Loving. As a woman, I sometimes think that I have the upper hand when it comes to being able to feel. I pride my gender on holding emotional wisdom. I can get superior about it. And perhaps some of that is true. But these men. Our men. Men all over the world. They feel so deeply. They love, they notice, they care, they feel.
I was melted and filled with love for men.
Before I leave this subject, I want to mention a caller from Nunavut who talked about the devastation she felt for the Humboldt community as well as the frustration she felt about the lack of similar response her community receives when indigenous youth are facing a suicide crisis. She is so right. And while I am writing this, we are hearing news of another chemical attack on people in Syria, including children. I know for myself that it is easier for me to relate to tragedies affecting people like me; in how they look, what language they speak, where they live and how they live. But I was reminded that I want to take on the responsibility of recognizing pain and tragedy in all communities. Especially the ones that don’t feel like mine.