I think of kids trying to figure out how to cope with the death of people they knew and loved. I think of how children that young should never have to face death in such a close, personal way. I think of that because after a year of watching Rowan go through it I know how hard it is.
The other image that stays with me is the image of a man, presumably a father of one of the victims, leaning with his head against a car window, crying (now I can't find it again). While I do know loss, I can't fathom the loss of my child, especially in such a senseless, tragic way. I pray to God I never do know that pain (and I think of Donna as I say that).
I have been fighting tears all day. I'm sure I'm especially sensitive to this due to the nearness of the one year anniversary of Aimee's death, but I've been more sensitive to these types of things ever since she died last year. The empathy I feel for people who experience sudden loss has been magnified dramatically since last December. I imagine parents, husbands, or wives getting that phone call or that knock on the door, and getting that terrible news. Thinking of them going through that brings back with sick clarity the moment when Justin came through the door of that house with the news that Aimee was dead, and remembering that what made it hit home was seeing those policemen and others standing at the door. That's when I knew without a doubt that this was real. And then my mind goes back to these families going through that experience themselves, and my heart just breaks all over again for every one of them.
The only hope I have is this:
And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away. Revelation 21:4, NKJVThat verse (which was at the end of Aimee's tribute video) is one of the greatest comforts in times like this. I know not everyone believes what I believe, and that's fine. But for me, I can not imagine how I could possibly have any hope in this world if I didn't know in my heart that ultimately God will redeem all the bad and evil for good, and that His perfect will and justice will prevail.
PS. I know many people feel very strongly about gun rights and gun control laws in when events like this happen. I would ask that this blog post not be used for those discussions. There are more appropriate forums for those discussions, and I prefer to focus on more universal concepts at this time, such as our shared grief over tragedies such as this. Thanks.