Is anyone listening? Is anyone hearing the cries of parents and children and the eternal sorrow, anxiety, and grief that accompanies every new news cycle in this country?
What is wrong with us?
Why are we going back about our business and letting our weary hearts forget the life-altering pain for our fellow humans?
I know, it's too much, right? We can't handle the bad news, so it's easier to ignore tragedy unless it has a direct effect on us personally.
Let me tell you about my tragedy.
My life changed in the blink of an eye. On a beautiful October day, my husband took off in a small plane, and within seconds everything we dreamed of was gone along with him. His children lost their father at the age of 1 and 2, and I was left PERMANENTLY changed and deeply affected by our family tragedy.
The shock was so powerful there are no words in the human language which do it justice.
Like a thief in the the night taking all I owned, my shock and grief stole my entire being. I was left void of all emotion, the ability to sleep, and the desire to move forward because my central nervous system was not prepared to deal with such life-altering pain.
Those feelings revisited me last Sunday as I watched the HORROR surrounding the mass murder and domestic terror in Sutherland Springs, Texas. I found myself, thousands of miles away, paralyzed by the pain of others. I don’t know a single soul in that small town. I don’t know one victim that died in Vegas, the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, either.
It doesn’t matter if I know them. Their pain is so real.
On some level, I recognized the agony of loss, and while I’ve never experienced the pain of a mass shooting, I can assure you based on my loss, it is life-changing on the deepest and most disturbeing level.
These people will NEVER be the same.
They will bury their children, their parents, grandparents, and friends. They will see them in their dreams for the rest of their lives. Many are likely to have PTSD, anxiety, anger, years of profound grief and a lifetime of reliving the worst day of their lives. They will need therapy, they will need friends who stay, and they will need us to stand up in unison as the human collective and scream, “ENOUGH!”
It has been five days, and I can already see the normality returning to our Facebook walls, our Tweets, and Instagram photos. Many political officials are changing the subject because it’s tricky, complicated and messy and their views may cause them NOT to be re-elected. Each time we live through yet another horrific and mind-numbing tragedy, we become more accustomed to pain, and we allow ourselves to justify murder, or sweep it under the carpet.
The murder of children.
The murder of parents.
The murder of human beings.
If only I could make you understand how devastating it is to raise children who’ve lost someone important in their world; the nights of crying, the heartbreaking questions, the void that can’t be filled by anyone else. It doesn’t end two weeks later, a month later, or a year later. It’s forever. These children will have this pain FOREVER!
Can you live with that?
Can you contemplate that pain for even just a second?
Can you rise above your political affiliations and opinions long enough to think of the children?
What about the parents who lost their children in such a senseless and violent manner? You think they will recover from this? They may, in time, find some healing and move forward, but I can promise you they will never, ever be the same.
Sure, you may be reading this and thinking, “Yes, that’s terrible, how sad” but let me ask you, what are you doing to stop it?
We have to stop changing the subject because it’s too uncomfortable. We have to stand up, stop the infighting and demand change.
I’m not here to fight the second amendment or advocate for guns being taken away, but are you really going to tell me I have to take my shoes off to go through the security line at the airport tomorrow, but I can walk around my hometown with an AR-15???
America, we’ve lost our collective spine, and we have become numb to the unthinkable.
Children dying at school, in church, at a park, or at home is NOT a political issue.
Children dying anywhere at the hands of others is UNACCEPTABLE by all standards that make us human.
We’ve been complacent after every recent tragedy, and there are too many to list them all.
We turned our blind eye because it’s too big of a fight and swimming upstream after the immediate horror of the pain seems too challenging.
It’s not the time to ignore the pain of people we might never meet.
This cycle must end, and it must end now. It is not the time to go back to business as usual.
When you are eventually touched by the death of a person you love more than anyone else in this world, these tragedies will bring you to your knees. Unavoidable death should never be acceptable to us.
Nobody should have to feel it.
Nobody should have to live through it.
We are allowing it.
We are all allowing it.
Let’s do something this time.
Where can you start?
- Call your representative every single day until they take action on semi-automatic weapons and mental health issues.
- March peacefully and make it non-negotiable that we change.
- Vote with your dollars on everything you buy. (Buycott.com)
- Support companies that are making a difference. You can find them via facebook sponsored ads.
- Tweet, Facebook and Instagram thought-provoking and meaningful factual information.
- VOTE in every damn election with eyes on real change.
- You can make a difference. We all must make a difference.
Let’s show the bereaved and their dead that it matters to us too. It matters enough to come out of our comfort zones while we still have them.
To call your Member of Congress:
US Capitol Switchboard (202) 224-3121
To locate your Member on-line:
U.S. House of Representatives: www.house.gov
U.S. Senate: www.senate.gov
White House: http://www.whitehouse.gov/
Read more from Michelle in her new book, Healthy Healing