Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Thoughts About Loss

I have a lot of thought and emotions roiling in my brain right now. Fear, anger and sadness are the easily definable emotions. The thoughts and underlying feelings are harder to put into words.
When I heard about the shootings at Virginia Tech I was in the cafeteria at work getting breakfast and it was breaking news about 1 person being killed. I thought to myself how sad it was and continued to get my food and then went back to my desk.
Later in the afternoon I went to the news site and it said that 33 people were killed. Thirty three!! In some ways this seems a monumental number and in others it seems microscopic.
When I think of the families that lost their loved ones and a school that lost their teachers and students it seem so monumental. I wonder how people will work through it.
Then I think about people living in Israel and how this happens on a regular basis. People going and doing regular things being killed. Innocent people murdered by someone that they don't even know.
I think about the Iraqi's who are blown to smithereens by a suicide bomber or by a random bullet. Thousands and thousands have been killed. Doing every day things. Shopping, going to school, riding a bus.
Is our loss greater then theirs?
Maybe it seems like this loss is so much bigger because it is closer to home. Most of us know people in college or the parents of children in college.
I have a child in 3rd grade and so far we haven't had any incidences of guns or knives being brought to school. But is it just a matter of time?
What can I do to teach my son to be careful but not terrify him to a point where he is unable to function?
What would I do if he was a victim?
What would I do if he was the perpetrator?

This brings my biggest fears to head.
The fear of losing my son. Whether at the hands of someone else or by demons inside.
I don't know if I could survive it. Would I even want to?


Poppy said...

Yes, you would want to continue your life for your son, even if you lost him. The rest of us want you to stay here! Although it may sound crass, death is a natural course of life, no matter how tragic. The problem lies in the violence that many times surrounds tragic and sudden death.

What bothers me about the shootings yesterday, and something that has been brought up in national radio stations, is that this mad person first went through the dorms at 7:15am killing some, then in the 9 o'clock hour went through the classrooms. From what I've heard, no one was told to stay away. Classes were not cancelled or dismissed. I know we are ultra sensitive about things these days, but how many would have survived if these simple steps had been taken? My college recieved a bomb threat a few months after 9-11-01, and every single student was sent away for the weekend. No one was allowed to stay on campus.

I have briefly thought about all those children in Iraq and other war-torn countries. What are their lives like now? What will they be like in the future? I usually shove those thoughts from my head; they are too depressing and sinister. I cannot imagine walking up a flight of stairs next to a large pool of smeared blood from a recent murder. This image with three small children is one from a photo I saw online a few months ago.

Churlita said...

I am right there with you. We had a similar thing happen on our campus in 1991 when I was pregnant with my first daughter. That fear is enough to cripple a person.

Dennis said...

You would go on if you let yourself after losing a child. I have seen it from to close a point of view. Not my own but close enough. It is not easy and takes a long time to do. You would never forget the good times. Those are what counts anyway.

egan said...

I couldn't imagine the loss of a child. I've lost siblings and so I try and put myself in my mom's shoes. It has to be incredibly rough.

I think there's some good that can come for the shootings. It will be hard to find, but look at the dialogue about it. Oh, the humanity.

Rachel said...

Poppy ~ You might want me to stay here but I don't know if I would want to.

Churlita ~ Losing Devon is my biggest fear. Hands down. Nothing else even comes close.

Dennis ~ I am sure that if I wanted to I could move on. I don't know if I would want to. Devon is my only child. If I had more children it would be different.

Egan ~ I am not close to anyone that lost a child while I knew them. I can't imagine how difficult it is.
My mother had a miscarriage before I was born and she still gets sad thinking about him and it has been 36 years. She named him Michael Joseph.

Playtah said...

I think you're strong enough to move on, but it would be a matter of if you wanted to. You do know, however, that I would move in with you and convince you everyday to keep going. I would be absolutely devestated if you didn't want to go on.

laughingattheslut said...

To be honest, with the weirdness going on here, I haven't seen as much about the campus shootings as a lot of other people did this week. What I did see of it was not pretty. I didn't hear the part about classes that should have been canceled to keep it from getting worse, but that really is awful.

I can't imagine the discussions you must be having with Devon about all this.

It is strange to refer to him as Devon now. There are a lot of weirdos out there, and I don't think I'd want to mention a child by name. Sometimes I get totally freaked out by the stuff that is on the news about people finding kids on the internet. I know that stuff mostly happens to girls, but still we have been refering to him as D all this time out of concern for his privacy and safety, but now we're not. So it will take me a while to get used to it.

Rachel said...

Wendy ~ I might just want to end my life if I had to live with you...lol...just kidding.
My life would be so completely different if something happened to Devon. He is my #1 reason for everything that I do.

Laughingattheslut ~ I know that no one is completely anonymous and that if someone REALLY wanted to try they could figure out who I am.
But no one, other than people that I know in the real world know my last name or the town that I live in. Devon doesn't have the same last name as I do and he attends school in a different school district so I didn't see much of a risk. If you know me, you know him.
Plus he isn't the only Devon around. There is at least 2 more in his school.

kapgar said...

Katie and I do not yet have kids, but these very thoughts keep my desire to be a dad somewhat at bay. It's terrifying to think how much the world has changed just during my lifetime. I fear how much worse it could become.

Babybull40 said...

Some may say different.. Guns don't kill, people kill people.. the weapon whether it is a gun, knives or some bombs.. this guy that did the killing obviously was in distress about something that it was enough to kill innocent people and himself.. In most cases the person doing the shooting always kills himself.. Is that because he doesn't want to face prosecution himself or is it something else? It is sad that these events took place.. I pray for those families that lost a loved one and for the victims that survived.

M said...

the man was nuts and he was still able to get his hands on a gun. Something is seriously wrong with society.

I don't know if I would want to go on too. I honestly don't.