Friday, September 12, 2008

Reaction to Tragedy

Yesterday was September 11th, seven years removed from that horrible day where many lost their lives, and those who survived, their lives were forever changed. Humanity reacted to that day in ways as diverse as humanity itself. My childhood friend, whom I kept in close touch with through the years no matter where life took her, sat in front of our televisions, hundreds of miles apart, watching the news, in tears of sadness and disbelief.

In the following days, I found myself doing strange things, like closing my blinds, because I didn't want to see the outside, as if outside my window had become a terrifying place. Strangely though, my view of the television never altered from the 24-hour news channel. I stopped reading magazines and turned off music, since these seemed to be trivialities in light of the darkness that descended. I puttered around my house in a somewhat manic fashion, because sitting in one place felt like drowning.

Yesterday morning, seven years to the day, found me on the phone with my childhood friend. Once again, sobbing, hundreds of miles separating us, as she told me that her twenty-five year old son had unexpectedly passed away barely an hour before.

I am finding that I want to react in the same manner that I did seven years ago, like a diver remembering just when to tuck in relation to the water to execute the perfect dive.

The mind remembers what the body wants to forget, but I realize that I am not a diver. I am a friend, and one that writes a blog, questioning whether or not this is too personal for Web 2.0.

Yesterday, my friend lost the largest part of her life that a mother could lose. A child. Parents shouldn't have to bury their children. Thousands of people shouldn't have to lose their lives in a seemingly inconceivable way.

The scale and scope is different, I realize, but the reaction is the same.

I'll see my friend today, and we will do what friends do in times like these. This time though, the miles won't be separating us as they have so many other times in the past.

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