I am dismayed. Dismayed that I have opened my newsfeed to headlines of today’s carnage in California. Another senseless mass shooting. Yet again.
I am horrified. Horrified to imagine the terrifying, paralyzing fear those parents must have felt the moment they learned someone was shooting at their child’s elementary school. But I’m unable to…because I can’t imagine it. It is just so unfathomable an emotion and experience for me to even try to wrap my head around.
I am overwhelmed. Overwhelmed at the seeming surge in mass attacks our nation is currently experiencing. I am still reeling from Vegas and all that has preceded and followed since; the time that has passed so short…the list that has grown so long.
I am weary. Weary from the sheer multitude of incidents. Weary from the unsettling realization that with each new alert, it is starting to feel less and less like news. How distressing, how utterly unfortunate it is that with the more these incidents occur, the less shocking to hear of they become. Less shocking, but never any less heartbreaking.
And I am also a little bit ashamed. Both ashamed and embarrassed that I have so far gleaned only minimal details on the most recent of events. Today’s reports have pulled me in, as any tragedy involving children tends to do. But in all honesty, I have not fully read up on the incidents in Colorado and Texas, and was there also another one between those two?? It is happening so much that it is becoming hard to keep up. The past few weeks in my personal life have been a bit more out of sorts than usual, and in so being, history begs of me to consider my previous struggles with spiraling into deep, black holes. It can be such a slippery slope, like trying to stand up while on a spinning top, knowing how the slightest provocation of disconsolation can send me tumbling. And I would do anything to keep from returning to that shell. With the emotional turmoil, the aching pull on my heart that I am so often left with after this sort of event, it can sometimes become just too much to read the news. I have these babies to care for. I want as much as I can to be present for them, to be mentally available, to be emotionally stable. And so, in a forced effort to self-preserve, sometimes I must close the article; sometimes I must turn off the news.
But I am still aware. Fully aware of the acknowledged absurdity I sometimes feel when stating that it can be too hard just to read the news, knowing that could never compare to living it. It’s not at all my intention to hide under a rock or stick my head in the sand. I know these tragedies are happening. The victims and their hurting relatives are going through all of our worst nightmares. They don’t have the luxury to ignore it. And I don’t want to ignore it.
So I will give myself the time-out needed in order to gather myself. And then, I will read. I will read all of the details. I will view the photos and bios of each victim, read the remembrances shared by their grieving families, and take a moment to reflect on the lives lost, mentally paying my own personal respects. Just as I have done every tragedy prior. Just as I will do the next time, whenever it happens again…because we know it will happen again. But I will do it because the victims deserve that acknowledgement and respect…and because what they deserve most of all is to still be alive.