Saturday, July 21, 2012

Yesterday's heartbreak

People talk of heartbreak all the time-- mostly from disappointment in love affairs, sometimes in their relationships with their family. But the heartbreak of having lost a loved one in a random act of violence is one that can not be borne. Here in the metro Denver area, the Columbine families continue to suffer and now we have (at least) 12 new families who have joined their ranks. The news continues to focus on the drama of the shooter- the (apparently) excellent neuroscience post-grad student who one day left the ranks of the ordinary student/man/American to become join the ranks of the notorious-- like Ted Bundy, Charles Manson and Timothy McVeigh (not to mention the deceased Columbine shooters, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold). Having left his home booby trapped with bombs and incendiary devices, onlookers can only shake their collective heads in puzzlement as to what happened in such a mind to create such a nefarious and destructive plot.  

The natural human reaction is to ask WHY???? My co-workers and I were no less human in our reaction yesterday and one coworker suggested that perhaps we long to know why because we want to assure ourselves that we are not capable of committing such atrocities. Or perhaps we want to be sure that our neighbors and coworkers are not potential assassins.... whatever our desire, it seems to me that the WHYS and WHOs are as random as an atom's ability to appear as a wave or a particle.

And for my part I stand amazed at this randomness even as I mourn... one person is standing, another dying (or dead) on the ground, one person gives witness and the other is too injured to speak. The theater that was assaulted yesterday (shortly after midnight Friday morning) was a few miles from my work. One customer came to my desk and when asked how she was said she was trying to get by. She'd had a friend in that building who was shot. Another regular customer said he knew someone there who had not been shot but was no less terrorized.  My own 21 year-old daughter was going to that theater that night but at the last minute cancelled her plans with her friend who was waiting at the theater. Her friend was supposed to be in theater 9 but was switched to theater 6 at the last minute. My other (older) daughter was also talking about going to the movie at that theater but her boyfriend tore his ACL days before the tickets were to be bought so they decided not to go. Some might attribute this to a deity watching over them but I do not ascribe to such vanity- for it would be vanity to see god's hand protecting my family while others are experiencing so much heartache and sorrow. (For me that always presented the biggest WHY- Why them and not me? Why me and not them?) So I will not attribute this to anyone's god. I am simply glad that the particles fell into place for me and my family that night. 

As for the WHY? There is no reason that can explain or mollify the broken hearts of the people who lost loved ones yesterday. The heartbreak will not be lessened with an answer, it is simply there. Pain and sorrow and tears and a huge broken heart.


  1. I didn't come across any links..... Yes, a heartbreaking affair for sure. Another sad life.

    1. Tragic. I can't imagine being that boys mother...

  2. I cannot imagine the horror of those who were victims or the heartbreak of those left behind. I don't understand people. I really don't. I've had bad things happen me. I know people who have had awful terrible things happen/done to them and none of them have ever wanted to turn around and make others suffer. I have no mercy in my heart for the person who did this.

    I'm glad no one in your family was hurt.

    1. I don't understand people like this either and I don't really want to understand. Don't really care. It's too horrible to be erased by some bad thing that happened to him once upon a time.

      I am glad too.

  3. It's so awful. I have no idea how this happens, except that it's not logical and therefore of course i can't understand it. There are some seriously troubled minds in the world, for sure. It sucks that this keeps happening though.

    It wouldn't happen nearly as easily if there were no guns... I feel the need to say that.

    1. I agree Trisha. And yet we can't seem to pass any serious gun control laws in this country. All his weapons were perfectly legal and the National Rifle Association (a powerful lobby here) argue that we need them for protection and for hunting. It makes me sick to my stomach and I could go on, but that's a post for another day.

  4. I'm from Finland, a small country with only 5 million people living here, and we've had our share of these random shootings in the past years. What I resent (in addition to the shootings themselves, obviously) is the media coverage; in my humble opinion the shooters should just be locked away in solitude for the rest of their lives, no chance for parole -- and NOT have their pictures and life stories scattered around global news as to give them exactly what they seem to be looking for: fame. Every time this happens, I fear there's a disturbed person somewhere, reading the papers, looking at the news, thinking hmm....I should do that too to get my face in the news, to make myself unforgettable.

    Here in Finland they changed the gun laws after one of the shootings, and now the gun sales has dropped virtually to zero - I myself am not sure whether gun control will stop sick people from getting a weapon if they so plan to do -- but it's a start, it's a little prevention at least, an attempt. As for the U.S., it's not my place to suggest what to do -- it seems to me there are a whole lot of people there who absolutely do not want to have stricter gun laws.

    Ugh, sorry -- I sort of got carried away with is just SO maddening and sickening.

    Danette, I am SO happy your daughters are safe. I don't believe in some God choosing and picking either who gets to live and who doesn't, I think it is simply random. It is a good thing your family got lucky.

    My heart goes out to those who weren't so lucky, hopefully they will find the strength to carry on.

  5. I don't see any weird links. I think that this guy that committed this crime was just a really big asshole. He's ruined lives permanently and has no shame in the fact that he did so. I hope they execute him instead of throwing him in some prison for life. Best to get rid of these kinds of trouble-making assholes.

  6. My thoughts go out to everyone affected in this terrible tragedy.

    Thanks for a thoughtful post.

  7. Oh, I had no idea you were so close. I'm glad everyone in your family was okay. I'm sure you're holding them tighter than every during this horrible, senseless tragedy.

  8. I had no idea.... Thankfully you and your family are safe!

    I hope all is well with you Danette. This post was intense. I usually leaver your blog home feeling wonderful, especially after viewing your wonderful photos. But tonight, I feel sad for all the families.

  9. It's another really tragic event for some many people and to have this happen so close to you, must be devastating. I can't imagine how shook up the whole community is. Really blessed that your family is safe.

    No-one can say why these things happens, where or when but they do. This man needed help mentally. What is really sad, is that people near to him, knew his state of mind. That's the appalling tragedy too.

    I feel so bad when I hear about shootings because you just know that somehow, it could've been prevented.

    Take care, my friend. Sending you peaceful thoughts.
    T xo


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