I’ve been trying not to pay attention to the news about Oklahoma’s tornadoes and death; as I feel the pain of the Boston bombings and my own physical reaction to bomb threats on the day of graduation at USC in Los Angeles last week. And then yesterday a friend pointed out that we’ve now passed 15 years since the Thurston High School Shooting (you can see photo and previous post here). 15 years ago.
I spoke with another woman who just over a month ago lost her home, kitties, and belongings to a fire and as I was describing a video of an Oklahoma woman and her dog coming out of the rubble; she explained to me she can’t watch the news at all. It is just too close to home. I’d mentioned I’d just found out about it being 15 years since the Thurston shooting and as I stood there staring out the rainy window I could feel her pain, the pain of our community, and our hearts hurting for those in Oklahoma. The sadness worldwide. As I left her I said something like, I guess what I’ve learned from my past experiences, is that our community does pull through and generosity overflows. And so I hang on to that.
I’ve studied anniversary reactions to community tragedies. Our bodies and minds, often still hold those memories clearly. And when tragedy strikes again, often we find ourselves back in that space remembering our own terror, sadness, confusion and then we have empathy for others. The pain connects us as humans; as well as the hope. So I leave you with my image of hope.