Dealing With Tragedy

Like most people, I’ve been thinking a lot about the Connecticut school shooting that happened on Friday. It’s horrific and scary and heartbreaking and all those things, but it didn’t hit me as hard as, say, 9/11, or the plane that went down a few years ago with a bunch of Russian school kids on board. But why didn’t it? The senseless murder of first graders should elicit a strong emotional reaction, right? So why does it still feel remote, like it could never happen here? Why doesn’t it seem real?

I think it’s because guns are such a foreign concept to me. I just can’t relate. I’ve been on lots of airplanes, and it’s easy to imagine something awful happening in flight (and after 9/11, I was too nervous to fly anywhere for a while). But I just can’t envision someone bursting into the room with a rifle. I’ve never even seen a real live actual gun. That’s (thankfully) too far outside my experience.

Or maybe it’s because, as the mother of a five- and seven-year-old, I can’t let myself think about the whole thing too much. What I can do — what I will always try to do — is hold my kids tight every chance I get.