True Life: My Heart Hurts

This week has been rough.

And somber.

And draining. 

I feel like #allthefeels would be the most appropriate way to sum up these last few days, but I associate that with positivity. This week, particularly today, all my feels have been quite the opposite.

With the multiple, devastating situations that have happened in the world recently, my heart hurts, even aches. Literally. I feel so strange and even guilty for feeling so devastated and distraught when I am hardly affected by what has taken place.

The day after Columbine happened, I was home sick in bed. Every channel – including MTV, focused on the school shooting in Colorado. It was all I could watch. I was glued to the television, gathering all the details about what happened while my middle school brain pondered how kids could be so unhappy and evil. Saying I was obsessed with this event would be an exaggeration, but it definitely held my attention and to this day I don’t think I am over it.

Is this normal? Is this grieving? Does anyone else feel this way when something unspeakable happens?

I don’t know.

What I do know is that I have a hard time feeling like my normal self when horrendous acts have taken place and shattered the lives of so many others. What happened in the Orlando club was appalling and sickening. All I could think about were the mothers who had lost their grown babies and those who survived, but will be forever changed.

Then there was the story of the family who actually had their child taken from them in an unimaginable manner. Parents who fought a live animal in its own habitat and lost. Their precious, innocent child was literally ripped away from their arms and they were powerless to save him. This story has shaken me to my core. As a parent how do you recover? Where do you find the strength to raise your children? How does your marriage survive?

I cannot begin to fathom what any of these people are going through, but my ability to empathize is on point. I will not tell you how this world needs more love or what the parents should have done differently. We could play the “what if” game forever. I imagine that anyone directly impacted by these events is acting out numerous, different scenarios in their mind in an attempt to rewrite the ending.

What I will emphasize is to have compassion for others and to pray for them. For me, it is the only way I know how to cope.  

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