I am sad today.
And unknown amounts of people are grieving, suffering, and trying desperately to cope with a new reality. A reality that does not include their loved one.
We know this story all too well. And I do not say that to be trite. We, Americans, literally, know this story.
The first time I heard such story was in Mr. Cooper’s humanities class. I was in the ninth grade. It was 1999. It was Columbine.
Another time I heard this story (but surely not the second time) was when the victims were practically babies. School children. Administrators. And teachers.
The last time my heart broke because of this story was last summer, after nearly fifty men and woman were slain during a night that they hoped would be full of dancing, laughter and socializing.
And here I am- here we are- again today, as Americans, being reminded of the same story. And the story is this- (although I don’t assume that I could sum it all up, here are my thoughts…)
There is a mother who will not come home to her children. And another, and another.
There are children who are missing school today, because they are grieving the loss of their father, or mother.
No doubt, there is a girlfriend who’s boyfriend was shot and killed, and now all of her dreams of their lives together are nothing more but dreams. She is grieving today, too.
There are people without healthcare who were injured in this violent attack, who are worried about how they are going to pay for their treatment. I don’t know this for sure, but I can imagine that in our country this is a highly probable scenario.
There’s a brother who will never come home. A sister, too.
A veteran was killed, not in combat, but on the soil of the land for which he fought for.
And there is guilt and shame and confusion. People wishing they could have done more, took the bullet, or something else.
I know this isn’t the whole story. Not even close. But these are the things that I think about as I try to connect with the seriousness of this tragedy.
I also know that I am not a person of significant influence. I don’t know how to create change in the world other than by trying every single day to change myself. I think that is the only place to start- with yourself.
There is policy, too. And I echo the voice that says it needs to change. It needs to change.
Today I am still alive. For all of the thoughts and prayers that are being spoken and whispered, here are mine, also. I am so deeply, deeply sorry, fellow people, for your loss. I am also thankful for all of those who came to the rescue. This world is a mish mash of good and evil, but more good I think.
There is really nothing I can say that could take away any pain, although I wish I could. But I much rather say something than say nothing, and today I just want to let you know that I am thinking about you who’ve lost their lives, the people who love you, the people who helped you, the people who will lay you to rest. I am thinking about you and I am not afraid to let my heart break over this, because it should.