It’s 2 AM and despite extreme fatigue, I can’t sleep. What happened– what’s happening– in Boston dominates my thoughts. My heart goes out to the victims of today’s violent bombing, and to everyone in Boston, America, and the world. It’s mind-boggling horrific and I’m feeling angry and sad and in knots over it. I write this post with the hope of being able to settle my thoughts and sleep afterward.
My worst days as a citizen, a parent, and a Human Being, are the days when I am addicted to the news. Good news is glossed over, but bad news is studied. I constantly hit “refresh,” searching for information. First, for the What, When, and Where, which is usually readily apparent. Then, I search for the answers to the more difficult questions of the Who and How, clicking “refresh” for more and more news. Finally, I seek the answer to the most difficult question– the Why. Aurora . . . Newport . . . Boston. Why?
How many times have we heard the phrase “senseless acts of violence”? Unfortunately, too many. Yet, we try to make sense of the senseless. We want to understand and seek answers to the unanswerable questions. Will the “Why” ever really make sense?
Boston makes no sense to me. Nor did the other horrific past events for which I spent the day hitting “refresh” on the newsfeed. But now I am forever changed because of Boston. For the rest of my life, when I hear about a marathon, I will think of the events today in Boston. Like September 11 forever changed my view of airplanes and skyscrapers. Like Colin Ferguson’s mass murder on the Long Island Railroad forever altered my experience of riding a train. Like Aurora forever marred my thoughts when I step into a movie theater. Like Columbine and Newport forever changed my image of the classroom.
I’m not scared or paralyzed– I’m just unsettled. Maybe wary. I will still do things because I don’t think fear is the answer. I’ve flown since 9/11 (once) and been in skyscrapers. I’ve ridden trains and gone to the movies. But now, when I do these things, my first thoughts are sad thoughts of victims and violence. These things are different for me now. Today, Boston’s violence is added to the list of horrendous events that will forever alter my thoughts whenever I am in public surrounded by a crowd of strangers.
Now it’s 3 AM and I’m feeling better that I addressed these feelings. Whether or not I post this remains to be seen. I won’t hit “publish” tonight though. I’m going to rest, wake up and read over my thoughts again, and see how I feel in the morning.
It’s morning and I only add this: When I’m having these anxious thoughts and recalling these terrible events (most recently, at the Opera House where there were a lot of people in a relatively small space), I relax by telling myself that I still believe in people and have faith that everything will be alright. I know I will spend the day looking at the news as the authorities discover the Who and the How of yesterday’s events and I pray that each time I click “refresh” the news gets no more worse than it is right now.
Thanks for reading.