It happens in a moment. And from then onwards it defines you and continues to do so although in lesser and lesser ways over time. Loss. A friend recently said to me, 'the world is divided into those that have lost someone and those that have not and those that have not, have no idea how the others feel'. I thought a lot about those words and my initial reaction was relief. I have lost. I belong to the former group. I'm in the club, I get it. But loss doesn't always feel like that, you don't always feel understood and like you have common ground with a defined group. You just feel your own raw, unbearably unique .... loss. I experienced loss as a ten year old and till this day I feel differently about it each time I consider it. Depending on what has triggered my thinking, a photograph, a feeling, a birthday mine or his, a glance between a father and daughter, it hits me from different angles all of the time. Again my friend said 'one day you wake up and you realise you haven't cried so far today. Then you feel guilty for not crying and life starts to continue, one day at a time.' I heard a couple of days ago that a childhood friend of mine experienced the unimaginable, the loss of her child who hadn't yet reached one year. Needless to say, she has rarely left my thoughts nor prayers in the last forty eight hours. I wondered about how appropriate it was to share this here but I thought once again of those words I mentioned earlier: 'the world is divided into those that have lost and those that have not'. I have lost but I have no idea of the loss that my childhood friend is experiencing, no idea. But even so, I want to stand alongside her, I want her to know that I and each of her people, friends, family, community, each of us want to carry her, to lift her, her and her family. We desire simply to take that immense burden if just for a little while, to share its weight even if we do not understand the contents of the burden. It made me think of one of my eldest boy's favourite books - Pilgrims Progress. He has read the book over and over and over again and each time he is awe struck and excited and unable to stop talking about it. I'm reading it at the moment and keep thinking of my dear childhood friend. How bold and brave she is, how openly she has shared her grief and despair, her sadness and heartache. How I want to carry that burden just for a while so that she can feel that immediate relief, the relief that Christian so longs for in Pilgrims Progress. I think of loss and how it shapes you, how it shapes us all, whether we are the ones who have lost or we are the ones observing the loss. We are in it together. Let us carry it together and ease the burden. I hear the words over and again 'One day at a time sweet Jesus' and the my load lightens and it is my hope, my prayer that my dear childhood friend can speak these words too in the hazy days that are to follow her great loss. 'One day at a time sweet Jesus, that's all I'm asking of you. Just give me the strength to do every day what I have to do'.