In 1839, in his play about Cardinal Richelieu, Edward Bulwer-Lytton wrote that the pen is mightier than the sword. In the play, this famous quote applied to using words to gather support for a cause, as opposed to fighting with weapons. I believe it can also apply to being able to write through times of intense sorrow.
But what happens when the writer holding the pen cannot find the words to describe the indescribable? Does that allow the sword to win? No, it does not!
Being a writer, I am rarely at a loss for words, but today I find I cannot adequately describe the atrocious tragedy that happened to our family and to the entire community of Victoria, British Columbia, on Christmas day. The story has been widely reported by the media so I won't expound on it here.
I was reluctant to write this blog, other than to add that the mother of the two little girls who were murdered by their father was like a daughter to us, and when her own parents died, my husband and I were honored to act as surrogate grandparents to her beautiful daughters.
But no one wants to be reminded of the deaths of two innocent children. So, instead, I have searched my heart to try to find another side to this tragedy and our own insurmountable grief. Once again, I have resorted to the written word.
By doing so, I have discovered that on the opposite side of evil, there is incredible good. I have become more aware of the kindness of people. I have realized that none of us is alone in this world. I have known the comfort of hugs and prayers and the warmth of people who truly care. I have seen the strength of the human spirit, which is so much stronger than the evil in men's hearts.
Although we are angry about a tragedy that should never have happened, we also have hope for a peaceful but vastly changed tomorrow. As the shock lessens, we will recall only the happy memories of two sweet angels who died far too soon but will remain in our hearts forever.
The path through grief is different for everyone. Some find it in solitude. Some need to be surrounded by others. Some find it by walking in the wilderness and discovering the beauty of nature. And some, like me, find it in writing and expressing my feelings that way.
It will be a long journey ahead for us all, but I'm thankful that today I found the strength to write this blog because it has proved to me that the pen is indeed far mightier than the sword. The pen will always win. It is a much more effective tool than direct violence.