All the colors of humanity, of love, of loss. We saw each in Orlando in terrifying technicolor this weekend. Sons, daughters, brothers, sisters – lost. Each of us, who’ve lost the person closest to us, know well the journey their families now will take. Those families, those parents, siblings, grandparents had their hearts ripped out in a second of senseless violence. San Bernadino, Newtown, Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook. Adults, children all cut down in the business of living.
Plumbing the depth of my own loss, the slicing off of an artery in your heart without warning, I can’t help but think about the people grieving this week. Many years ago, my young brother died at 19 of leukemia. His loss was immeasurable and I saw my parents nearly destroyed by it. A life that never got to be lived. Watching the mother weeping uncontrollably for news of the son she couldn’t find in the melee, I recognized the anguish. And knew the bottomless pain she now will swim through.
Her son did not survive.
I usually write of my own trip through loss that I never packed for, but tonight my words are for Orlando, the latest headline from hell. There is way too much talk of hate, of exclusion, of retribution – and no healing, no coming together, no real answers. I’m angry, frustrated that weapons of war (um, you don’t need an assault rifle for hunting deer – or PEOPLE!) are available at ANY level especially for the unstable, violent or disenfranchised. The time has come to listen for truth within the rhetoric and for more than tears and talk. I can only hope it is now.
We need to remember the trusting children who left for school, those who went to work, or a casual night of celebration — and never returned home. And we need to remember the families whose new normal will be mourning.
I have questions and no answers. Maybe all we can do is think carefully about Mahatma Gandi’s words “The future depends on what we do in the present” because if we do nothing – there will be no future.
Once again well said ….I can’t help but think of what Mr. Rogers (“neighborhood”) would say in the face of tragedy to the little children who watched his show. In order to help them make some sense of what was going on he would tell them “look for the helpers”. I often think of this as I watch the aftermath of such a senseless act.
Thank you….and so well said. It’s only when we see the ‘helpers’, the compassion that we know love can indeed triumph the worst acts of humanity.