The Unimaginable

There are moments that the words don’t reach
There is suffering too terrible to name.
You hold your child as tight as you can
And push away the unimaginable.

-It’s Quiet Uptown, Hamilton

Like much of America, I have become enamored with the Broadway musical Hamilton. Initially, the draw was fun, upbeat, and unique music. As I got to know the soundtrack, I fell in love with one particular section of the musical.

Philip Hamilton, Alexander Hamilton’s son, was defending his father’s honor in a duel and was killed. The song that follows Alexander and Eliza’s grief and reconciliation as a couple (he had previously had an affair) is one of the most insightful songs that I have heard about grief, suffering, and forgiveness.

It’s titled It’s Quiet Uptown and you can listen to it here.

As I listened to this song, I could picture my dad, myself and the rest of my family trying to process and survive sudden grief.

It’s quiet uptown, I never liked the quiet before.

When Taylor died, I could feel it change me. Not just my perspective on the world or my value of people, but how I interacted with everything. Like Hamilton, I noticed myself doing or feeling things that were uncharacteristic. For months, I could not be without my cell phone for fear that I might miss important news. I often feel anxious and trapped in work, at home, or in relationships. To this day, I cannot fall asleep without music playing.

There are moments that the words don’t reach
There’s a grace too powerful to name…
Forgiveness, can you imagine?

My journey in grief has left my life in a whirlwind that I have yet to sort out… a bundle of depression and anxiety that makes me want nothing more than to just pretend that it is over. The one thing that has been unwaveringly clear to me is that I need to forgive Jesse, the man who murdered my brother. I can’t explain the need or the clarity. It is unimaginable. The best I can do is say that I have been forgiven by God of so much. Who am I to withhold forgiveness from Jesse? It is an incredibly powerful grace. I, with Jesse, say, “Can you imagine?” Neither of us understand it. Both of us are grateful for it. I don’t know what that will look like. The process has started. The words have been shared. And now we move forward. Together hopefully.

The Hamiltons move uptown
And learn to live with the unimaginable.

And hopefully, we are better people having learned to live with the unimaginable.


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