Sorrow is an untamed dog, at times fawning and at others fierce. Sorrow has sharp teeth. It likes to take up your arm with a soft mouth and then lay the pinpoints of its teeth on your skin. Barely piercing the membrane, hardly hurts at all, just to remind you that it’s there and that sorrow knows no master. Other times sorrow chews and gnaws relentlessly abrading away protective tissue. On occasion, and more often than I like, sorrow erupts like a savage beast and rips and tears at the flesh of our composure.

We bear the scars of many such encounters with sorrow and grief. I choose to see these scars as beautiful, evidence of our survival and perseverance. A scar represents the body’s phenomenal ability to heal after wounds and if you grow one it is a badge of honor and you are one of the lucky ones who have survived and transcended injury.

Morgan suffered mortal blows. No scars there. We are hurting and healing and will never rest until justice prevails and this Charlottesville killer is taken off the streets.

Survival is good. A start. Will joy ever emerge again?

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4 Responses to “Gil Harrington’s thoughts from June 7th, 2010”

  1. W.C. says:

    Yes, it will. When you were about to give up on finding an apartment for Alex, Morgan guided you to an amazing rental. Morgan knows your scars and has witnessed from above your sorrow. In time she will lead you in a similar manner towards joy, prodding and revealing “calling cards” to push you in the right direction. Morgan’s life was obviously full of joy, and I know she would not want otherwise for yours.

  2. Cory says:

    Gil, so many of us are still praying for you and the family, we have not forgotten.Please listen on youtube to Abraham-putting death in prospective, it is enlightning and I believe will be helpful to you.Morgan’s name has been in our prayer box at Unity on the Bay, we will be with you through this, blessings of peace.

  3. Tori says:

    Joy will emerge again. Gil, you’ve been going through a slow healing process each and every day…gaining a new kind of strenght for the perpetual change forced upon you. Justice WILL prevail.

  4. Dear Mr. And Mrs. Harrington, I also continue to fall into pits of grief, but something about Morgan’s smile, which I will never forget, and the obvious energy of who she was as she looked up from her desk in our Creative Process course in McBryde 216, sends me back into action. I remember something that Morgan really loved in class one day. We were talking about love and loss as the tributaries of the creative impulse, and I told my students about Roland Joffe’s film, City of Joy, based on a true story about a doctor’s experiences in the slums of Calcutta, India. The old proverb at the end of that film made Morgan thank me after class, and tell me that her Mom would love it: Everything not given is lost.

    I have kept for you a precious essay and drawing that Morgan made for one of my assignments, her Tibetan-style shrine, a way of her organizing what she valued and how she came to hold her values. I have read every word you have posted, Mrs. Harrington, and I see why it is no wonder that my student Morgan was such a dazzling writer. When the time is right, I have her work for you.

    For ten years I have been part of the making of a documentary film called A Gift for the Village. Morgan saw the rough draft of this film, and she is in the film, sitting and smiling with her classmates on my living room floor, and it is dedicated to her. The film is sanctioned by The Dalai Lama, and it will premiere in this country in Roanoke’s Taubman Museum on September 23, this Fall.

    I never forget about Morgan. Respectfully, Jane Lillian Vance, Morgan’s professor at Virginia Tech

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