Is it possible, at all, for someone to be so lost - to life, to others, to him- or herself - that even the grace of God cannot reach that person? Is it possible that someone can be so bruised and battered by life, and his or her response to life that the possibility of life with others just cannot be realized?
Is it possible there are people who aren't psychotic or sociopathic who nevertheless are incapable of love?
In the film What Dreams May Come, there is an image of Hell in which people, surrounded by others damned are incapable of reaching out, of communicating, of seeing how they have isolated themselves in their suffering. For me, what is most haunting about that image is that these people are, in essence, continuing the lives they led. They have defined their existence by isolation, by that inward turn that makes them incapable of seeing the person to their left and right, before and behind, who, if simply approached and seen and heard - really seen and really heard - might rescue them from the prison they have created. They may not even know they have died, let alone that they are in hell. The suffering just goes on and on and on . . .
These questions disturb me, that image from that movie disturbs me. The reason should be obvious. We all have known a person or two in our lives, I believe, for whom life is not endless possibility, but mere existence in the midst of suffering. I am not speaking here of those silly bourgeois "victims" we meet; nor am I speaking of those who live in marginalized communities, defined as "outside" by the majority. Rather, I am speaking of those rare people who just seem unreachable. Whatever the source of their "lostness" to others, they are, indeed, lost.