What is in our hearts?

Annette AvatarBy Annette Francine

I was stunned and terribly saddened by my friend’s recent revelation to me. I won’t go into the details here, but one horrific act decimated the lives of many. It was unexpected. Unforeseen. Unfathomable.

I never met the person who committed this act, but I ache for my friend. Over her loss and her grief. For her confusion and guilt. How could this person have done what she did? Why did no one foresee the possibility? They’ve scoured their recollections of conversations, observations, and interactions and come up devoid of clues. Yes, this person was going through a difficult time, but theirs is a large family—multiple generations in close proximity—and every one of them stepped up to help and support and encourage. Where did they fail? What did they miss noticing? What could they have done differently? How had this person fooled every single one of them these past many months with her (apparently false) positivity? She mouthed everything everyone wanted to hear, it seems. Flawlessly performed the scenes they mentally scripted. Now they’re each gnawing on the ‘if only’ regrets and dealing with guilt feelings over what they could’ve/should’ve seen or done.

My friend says this person simply had to have ‘snapped’ to do what she did. This act was completely out of character. But the news reports suggest otherwise. And does that kind of thing truly happen? I suspect we lack awareness, we selectively perceive, and/or we project false traits/characteristics onto others. Or could it be we are all good actors, with some of us capable of Oscar-worthy performances, even in the presence of those who know us best, and over extended periods of time? Although I don’t comprehend how that could be, I can’t argue against the preponderance of evidence presented in news reports demonstrating how the latter must be true. How many stories we’ve heard of trusted friends, beloved family, and admired leaders engaging in the ultimate betrayals. How did they fool us?

If you have a free moment, may I ask for your prayers and positive wishes for the healing of this family and the many other persons crushed by this tragedy? Thank you.

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