Friday, December 14, 2012

Mourning Has Broken

In roughly the time it takes for me to drink a cup of coffee, 28 people were killed this morning. The majority of those people were children between 5 and 10 years old. I want to be outraged. I want to be sad. I want anything but to feel this deep, sickly feeling in my gut.

I think of all the people whose lives this changes - those who witnessed it, the family and friends of the victims, people across the nation and in other countries who can't help the raw emotion that flows at hearing such utterly painful news.

This isn't something that one can chalk up to the whims of Mother Nature. It isn't something that can be explained away in any kind of fashion. It is inexplicable, unimaginable.

My first thought when I heard of it was of parents who have already done their Christmas shopping. I know that is one of the things that will drive them mad with grief, when they go to the closet to get a coat and see those packages that will never be opened. Although I have had to grieve the loss of many loved ones, I cannot fathom that kind of grief.

Nor can I imagine trying to come to terms with something so vile, so heinously senseless. How does one ever get past it? How does one ever find a point where they can say, "That was then and this is my life now." I don't know.

This is without consolation. There are no words of wisdom. There is no solace to be given. There's no finding justice in any of it.

A friend of mine (here in Washington), after following the news all morning, said that she just wanted to pick her daughter up from school and hug her and hug her and never let go. I understand that. Completely. I want to hug every person I love and never let go.

But the cruelty of the Universe dictates that we continue living. So we do.

We honor this tragedy by reaffirming our vows to be better people, to love deeper, stronger, and sweeter. Maybe we don't snark at our mates for forgetting to take out the trash and instead just hold them for a few extra minutes, because the trash will always be there and need to be taken out, but they won't always be there to hold. Maybe instead of snapping at our children for spilling their drink because they didn't pay attention, instead we'll patiently wipe up the mess, kiss them on the cheek, and let them know it's just a spilled drink and it doesn't change the rotation of the planet on its axis. Maybe take a few minutes from the hectic blur of the day to phone a couple of friends - not because we need to talk, but just because we need to tell them we love them.

It's not that we're searching the rubble for a lesson to be learned, but that we're lighting a candle to find the way out of our own darkness. And it's a big darkness, and it's a tiny candle.

So, take a deep breath before you speak and when you do, make your voice gentle. Fill it with love. Hold them close, all of them, all your loved ones. Because the time for letting go, no matter how near or far, always, always comes too soon.

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