Three American citizens, 150 Chinese citizens and others are legally presumed dead as they were aboard Flight MH370 which has disappeared without a trace for about two weeks so far. The official account does not fully satisfy for many reasons. The grief, street protests and sorrows evident in Beijing are ongoing. The people involved cannot help but feel cheated of any resolution and the Chinese government is at least demanding access to the satellite telemetry used to reach Malaysia’s official conclusions.
I have posted about this before. I may do so again. I can only empathize with all those suffering. However, I also empathize with their paranoia. This is one of those stories that may be true and almost certainly will not be proven untrue — and yet is absurd. One is asked to believe that this plane escaped all detection and went without notice to the place where the wreck would be hardest to detect. It is on its face one of the most self-serving stories ever told. But a lot of people are buying into this story and that really does make it more credible.
No matter what happened the odds are very high that passengers are dead. If it is a supremely complex conspiracy they are probably dead, if they crashed or landed gently in the ocean they are also likely to be dead. But this cannot be a story which brings a lot of closure to anyone.
I have posted about the struggle of other parents to rescue their daughter and find closure. This case is different in many ways but no less miserably confusing. Today or last night a family friend Suzanne Bercier died of a long enduring disease and it was long anticipated. Yet there will be plenty of shock for the loss of a young woman. There will be second guessing and regrets.
Today is, for Catholics, the Feast of the Annunciation. We remember the mysteries of the Incarnation and the origin of the words so familiar to us as “Hail Mary, Full of Grace! The Lord is with you.” This is from the first chapter of Luke’s Gospel and a bit later on at the Visitation Mary’s cousin Elizabeth adds the next words of the familiar prayer “Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb . . .” I will say a Hail Mary for all the parents of the victims of Flight 370 and other family members. I will say one for the family of Suzanne and for the family of Danielle and others disappearing on the boat in the South Pacific. Mary is the parent the Gospels mention standing at the foot of the crucified Christ. May her intercession ease the pain of all those suffering loss and terrible separation from loved ones.