Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Joe Biden

It's almost funny how politicians work so hard to "find common ground" with the American voter while shared human experience is pushed into the background, to only be spoken of in hushed whispers. I did not know that Joe Biden lost his first wife and his young daughter in a car accident caused by a drunk driver. Below is a rare interview about the subject that he gave late last year. I am posting it here because it resonates with me, particularly the part about how many people are out there dealing with the shared experience of grief...putting one foot in front of the other. It reminded me of this little community we've developed here on the internet...all of us walking a similar path...one foot in front of the other.

Biden: Five years after this no one man deserves one great love, let alone two. I met and married my wife of 30 years who actually put my life back together again and put my family back together again.

But you know, when something like that happens to you. It's like there's a big black hole in your chest, and you feel like you're being sucked in to that black hole. You feel like there isn't anything that will ever get better again in your life. But my mom has an expression, she said God sends no cross that you cannot bear, and she said, I remember literally the week of the accident her saying "Joey, out of everything horrible something good will come if you look hard enough." And I thought that was the cruelest thing in the world someone could say, but it's true.

Obviously I wished it never, ever, ever happened, but my sons and I, it's like a steel belt that runs through our chest connecting us. My family is so strong, and I really believe and my wife Jill of 30 years believes that Neilia my wife, is looking down on us. You just never, it never leaves, but there comes a time and it happens earlier than you think, there comes a time when the memory brings a smile to your lips rather than a tear to your eyes. And so many people have gone through tough stuff, but I had family.

When I went through it I had people helping me. It has taught me that I have such intense admiration for people who are alone and these things happen to and they fight. There are so many people right outside this library, this morning got up, put one foot in front of the other, dealing with crisis that were similar to mine and they do. And they do it for their kids and they do it for their family and they do it without the kind of help I had. I was really lucky. I just had an awful lot of people to help me and they were my family.

I'm not very good talking about it as you can see, but I know there is a continuum. I know that God is -- there's a giant piece of my deceased daughter, a giant piece of my deceased wife that is in me and in my children and in my wife.



Pipsylou said...


Thanks for posting this.

kate said...

I knew he lost his wife & daughter but i did not ever hear him talking about it. Thank you for posting this ...it really resonates with me too.