Posted on December 16th, 2012
For all that this is not my tragedy or my story, like everyone else, I’m trying to process what happened. Horror. Panic. A desire to emigrate somewhere, anywhere, as long as there’s universal health care, good education, and strong gun-control laws. I have announced to M several times that we will be leaving the country. (M, who is a federal employee with very specialized knowledge of US laws and regulations, just nods.)
Friday I picked Pea up a bit early, because I just couldn’t wait any longer. It was selfish, sure, and I could…so I did. That afternoon, we saw a stage version of the Velveteen Rabbit. It was her first play, and we were in the third row. The volume of the actors disturbed her at first (hands on ears, sank into seat) but she was a pro by the end, laughing on cue and clapping enthusiastically for the curtain call.
I was a mess. At my most hardened and cynical, I can’t read the Velveteen Rabbit without crying (I am a crier). I sobbed through large parts of the play. What it means to be real? All the things the boy might never get a chance to do? Oh, sweet Jesus. It was tough. Twenty kids went to school and died there. Twenty kids and it makes no sense, and it probably never will.
The pictures of the victims on Facebook are troubling. From a victims’ advocacy point of view, the families of the victims (particularly the child victims) should have control over what information is released to the public. That someone’s aunt or cousin is posting the picture of the adorable child with the ‘I MISS U’ is — and yes, I realize that I’m about to be ironic and not in a good way — bordering on narcissism. It’s interjecting into the tragedy (like I am skirting in this post). The Last Psychiatrist worked this up a few days back. But they have a right to grieve publicly? Maybe they do. It’s still tacky.
I don’t know what it’s called when someone posts bullshit like “twenty children are now blessed to be at home with Jesus, in a better place.” Tacky doesn’t begin to cover that.
Don’t look for me on Facebook.
We are holding Pea tightly. (She knows nothing about what happened, because we don’t show her news unless it’s science-oriented. I think she’s wondering why her parents are so clingy all of a sudden.)
I played Civ. Washed a bunch of wool clothes, because it’s winter in the northwest and we dress like sheep. Sent M to the grocery store with a list organized by area of the grocery store. Made quiches. Wrote Christmas cards. Read. Got pissed off about the St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre all over again. (Humanity hasn’t come far in 440 years.) Wrote and edited. Watched Sherlock with M. Laughed. Cried, because I am a crier.
I am grateful that my life is as boring as it is. It has not been easy, sure, but we are all here, and that is enough.