I’ve been sitting here for the last hour or so, reading articles about the Virginia Tech shootings and watching coverage of it on GMA, and I just can’t make sense of it. Then again, it’s ridiculous to think that even with all the information you can gather—eyewitness accounts, front page articles, breaking news—that you could ever find an explanation for something like this. Yesterday morning, those people were alive, getting ready to go to class, just like college students everywhere: today, they are dead. It’s just impossible to process.
Watching the family of one of the victims on GMA this morning, my heart just broke for them: it seemed so wrong to expect them to share their grief with us. It’s the same way I feel seeing the media descend on the campus, filming the students holding on to each other, their pain and fear so present for all of us to see. I wish everyone would just back off, and let these people go through this, the most awful of processes, with some sense of privacy. But I guess this is just part of our media life today. We expect to get the news immediately, to be right there, via internet and cell phone video and everything else. I mean, I’m as guilty as everyone else, trolling channels and checking websites. But there has to be a balance between information and compassion, right?
I don’t have an answer to this question. I just wonder.
It’s events like this shooting that remind you, jarringly and completely, how dangerous the world is. That bad things happen, to good people, to all people, and we can’t do anything about it. At the same time, we can’t walk around in constant fear at all times, so afraid of dying that we never live. But each time something like this occurs, we have to go through this uneasiness, realizing how helpless we are: it’s necessary, in the same way that not thinking about all the danger, all the time, is on every other day.
So the best you can do, I guess, is say your version of a prayer, think a good thought, pull those you love close, then closer. It’s all you can do, really.