I have never met Joe Biden, but since I live in DC, I know a lot of people who have. And they all say the same thing: he may not be a perfect man, but he is genuine in his warmth towards others. It’s not an act. He reaches out in many ways, but he’s most likely to do that when he sees someone suffering. Especially if that person is grieving.
Biden knows grief. As we all know, his first wife and infant daughter were killed when he had just been elected to the Senate, in 1972. Yes, he went on to have an incredible political career. He remarried. But in 2015, he again suffered great tragedy when he lost one of his sons to brain cancer.
Because even when your life is charmed in some ways, it can be desperately unfair in others.
Joe Biden is not going to be a perfect president. But that is not what this country – a country that’s lost 400,000 people to Covid-19 alone – needs. We need someone who sees pain, someone who knows grief, and someone who can use that skill to heal. It’s a tall task. But these articles below were comforting to me as I thought about the next four years. They are about loss, grief and renewal. While they may not provide any real answers, I think they do provide some hope.
Politico did an extensive article on Joe Biden’s grief, interweaving it into his political career. It shows an imperfect and raw human, but in that way makes Biden into a person with whom others connect well, especially when they are hurting. I found myself nodding many times as I read the article, thinking, “I know that feeling.”
This article in Rolling Stone talks about the importance of having a leader who understands grief, especially at this moment. It also has the best title, one that perfectly sums up Joe Biden and 2020: “Grief Is the Unofficial Theme of the Biden Campaign, and That’s Exactly What We Need.” Yep.
Do you know what Joe Biden did on election day? He visited his son’s grave. This CNN article discusses that day, and what it meant that he started it at the cemetery.
I also loved this piece from the Des Moines Register. It’s about how Joe Biden has interacted with the people he’s met on the campaign trail, and his ability to connect with those who are grieving. It’s not about what he said to a reporter or another political figure. It’s about what he’s saying to us.
There are so many more articles, but these were my favorites. No – Joe Biden will not save us. But I think he will see us.
And yes – I’m also so excited to have Kamala Harris as vice-president! Together, they are a team that brings me hope. And hope is something that I know we all desperately need right now.