Today I was “tagged” to participate in a 22 day challenge to honor Veterans and shine a light of understanding on the tragedy of Veteran suicide (which averages approximately 22 suicides per day.) As I contemplated this challenge—actually of doing 22 pushups per day—I decided to not only take this on but also create an opportunity to contemplate the primary quality of a warrior—Courage. In the book, “The Hidden Soul of Words” the word courage is traced back to its Latin roots “cordialis” meaning “of the heart” or “intimate” and is defined as “…the energy of the infinite that slips through the door of an open soul and into the world.” So for the next 22 days, I will be contemplating different aspects of courage. Today I begin with the courage to grieve our losses. I am sharing a picture that I took in an art class. The artist explained that she had just received the news that her dearest friend had lost her daughter. The black and blue of the painting seems to cry out in grief. Paradoxically, I realized that blue is also joyful as in a “blue sky day” or song lyrics that proclaim “nothing but blue skies from now on!” The color blue seems to connote a continuum of feeling from the depths of grief to the highest of possibilities. Grief too is a continuum but it is a continuum of love. You can’t have one without the other. As poet, Jennifer Wellwood, stated, “Let’s grieve our losses fully, like ripe human beings.” And let’s have the courage to do so!