Grief is not a disorder, a disease or a sign of weakness. It is an emotional, physical and spiritual necessity, the price you pay for love. The only cure for grief is to grieve. – Earl Grollman
Jama Ecuador – There was something in his eyes, or perhaps in his voice when Marcos spoke to me on the busy street corner. He had never asked me for anything except for an exchange of smiles during the many years I’ve known him. I knew little about his personal life; he was the smiling person who helped in his sister’s store, who sold colas and ice cream at the corner, and who made New Year effigies to sell during the final week of each year.
I knew he had lost famiy in the earthquake, but I knew few details. When he spoke to me in the street, he was worried about his 12-year old son and mentioned a lack of money for food. Planning to be out of town for a few days, I promised to return on Saturday. Over those next few days, I often reflected on his somber tone; I thought of Phil Colin’s song, Another Day in Paradise. How difficult it must be for someone like Marcos to ask, ‘Sir, Can you help me?’ I’m glad he found the faith and comfort to approach me.
When I returned on Saturday, finding Marcos was no easy task on the weekend of Ecuador’s Presidential elections; I was determined to follow through with my promise and found him one day after the elections when the mass of people had gone home. A friend tended the ice-cream box while Marcos shared the story of losing his wife and three children during the earthquake. See: The End of the World.
He invited me to go to the cemetery the next morning..