Monday, April 15, 2013

As I struggle to explain this most recent tragedy to my children

My heart is heavy.

Numb, again.

It will be some time before we have a full picture of the injuries from the events today, the bombings at the Boston Marathon.

The news coverage just confirmed that one of those killed was an eight year old child. My daughter will be eight this week.

I shut myself away from the descriptions of the injuries because it's all just too much. I live in a world with intentioned, planned, surgical amputations and I know how life altering they are even when they are anticipated.  To imagine the horror some of these victims must be living right now is too much.  They weren't soldiers fighting in a war, knowingly taking a risk with their lives. They were friends, family members, fans, excited for the race and cheering for the runners.

I stop myself when my mind wanders to the day my husband ran in the Marathon here.  The crowds, the chaos. I am thankful that he was safe, but I mourn for the ones who weren't today.

I block from my mind the accusations that immediately start to fly around when tragedies happen.  Those who would speculate and throw lies and guesses around in the most arbitrary way just in the name of getting information out there first, even if it's impulsive and wrong.

I stop being angry at those who lay blame for these events in the so-called lack of humanity, the heathens of the world. Those who blame the gays are ignored. I refuse to listen to those who start immediately with conspiracy theories, accusing the government of detonating bombs and killing citizens as some kind of distraction method for political gain.

I watch the news for a little bit and then I shut it off. I walk away.

I sit with it. I try to process it, knowing that I will never understand it.

I try the best I can to explain to my children that though our world contains evil sometimes, and that sometimes we are afraid, there are many more people out there who are good and will rise together to fight this all.

There are the first responders, the police and the firefighters, the ones who run toward danger instead of away from it. The ones who put saving the lives of others before their own safety. There are the people who, even in their grief and shock, immediately think of what they can do to help. There are the doctors and nurses and paramedics in the backs of ambulances putting all their fears aside to try and save lives. There are the therapists sitting in rooms right now with family members trying to help them through this loss or sudden life transformation.

There are the people like you and I, who will be scared at first, then outraged, then we will join together and refuse to let this change us. We will hesitantly walk back into those movie theaters and stadiums, into those street fairs and museums. We may eyeball the crowd nervously, scan for police presence, have a heightened awareness of bags and packages, but we will go.

We will fight terror by defeating it's goal. We will refuse to live in fear.

We will.

We will.

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