Friday, April 20, 2007

Virginia Tech

How does one even write about this?

I have felt sad in my core, introspective, quiet, afraid, mournful.

Everyone has looked different. Walking through the park with Silas, I involuntarily looked for guns in the pockets of peoples' jackets.

I've thought a lot about death.

I've thought a lot about loving people. What a fearsome endeavor it is -- to love from our gut. Nothing is more vulnerable.

In the shock of tragedy, I feel floaty, like looking around at death is like looking around at mythical creatures that most of the time I don't believe in. Death means vanishing. How can it be possible for a person to be vibrantly moving and then to be utterly gone from the earth? It is unthinkable. At least unbearable. It makes my chest tight and achy.

At 3o, I still have never suffered losing someone. This terrifies me. Loss, big loss, is inevitable . And to be honest, I am not sure how I will ever face it.

What has struck me as a miracle, though, -- and I do believe in miracles -- has been watching people survive losing someone. People do survive, and not only that, they usually continue to live. Annemarie described her grief to me once by saying that each morning she had to make herself breathe, make herself put one foot in front of the other and show up. People do this. Fiona. Mari. My dad. Kari. People in Iraq. Probably most of the people we know, at least many of them, are moving through a quiet grief much of the time. Somehow this is possible. Somehow, we are incredibly resilient, incredibly full. We can absorb and feel and remember so much, be loaded to the brim, overflow. And we can heal. Never, perhaps, without tenderness or scars, but we can heal enough to move through the earth again. That is a gift. And maybe somehow the tenderness is too. Today I can't see that, but belief goes deeper than today.

What I hope most for all these families and students and roommates and friends and boyfriends and children and parents and lovers and sad people is that as the day plummets into blackness and thick shadow, that somehow, even far off through dense trees, they'll see the moon rise and know there still is Light.

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