As I drink my morning coffee, my heart is full of sadness for those who were killed senselessly by a man in a theater, in Aurora, Colorado. People who were just wanting to see a movie. People who were just out for entertainment, and instead met with horror, or even death. I am imagining the utter terror those in attendance felt, the shock, the fear, the confusion. Then my thoughts turn to the families waiting to hear more information, or hearing that one of their loved ones was one of the 14 killed. This is what nightmares are made of.
I feel sad. I feel anger. I feel like the world has become a really messed up, disturbing place. A place where you can’t trust people because things like this show up in the news. A place where loved ones don’t get to say goodbye, and where innocent people are killed by someone who has completely lost all sense of reasoning and empathy.
This quote, from my favorite radio host on CBC radio, hit a nerve for me. He said exactly what I was struggling to articulate as I stumbled through my own tweets trying to figure out the news I was seeing and reading:
Any of us could’ve been in that theatre. The maddeningly fragile and unfair nature of this world is overwhelming sometimes. #colorado
— jian ghomeshi (@jianghomeshi) July 20, 2012
It really could have been anyone. It really could have been someone I love, it could have happened almost anywhere in the world. It could have been a night where my husband excitedly went to see this movie with friends. It could have been someone I passed on the street, or a close friend. The very idea that our existence is that fragile, and could completely rely on the morals and sensibility of someone else, is completely unnerving.
When I visited with The Kiddo’s parents, they showed me his room. Within it, I found tiny glimpses of who he was, and what he loved. One of those things? Superheros. The kind that many went to go watch last night, the kind that many wish for when situations like this occur. What if he had been in that theater with one of his parents or his friends? Would he even know how much I love him, and wished I had the opportunity to be in his life? Or would that opportunity have slipped through my fingers, leaving me with a lifetime of regret and sorrow?
Morbid, I know. But it seems, lately, the world is made up of the good guys, and a couple bad guys. And these bad guys strike in our lives at anytime, with no real life superhero to intercept them before they execute their completely horrific plans.
I know you can’t live your life, walking around thinking the worst could happen, because the reality is- at any moment, the worst can happen, and we’ve all seen that it does, in the most cruel, inhumane ways. However, you can’t walk around worrying about the things we have no control over. What it does do, seeing how quickly life can change tragically, without warning, make you take pause and wonder about the way you are living your life. If you had been in that theatre last night, would you be happy with the way you left things with those you love? Would your loved ones regret their last words to you? Did you get the chance to make a dent in that cliche, but ever important bucket list?
Naturally, we’d all wish for more time, no matter the incident, expected or not. We all wish for more time with those we love, when we lose them. Today, all of us who still have the ability to tell those loved ones that we love them, tell them. Hug your children a little tighter, tell your spouse how you feel, smile at a stranger, and help someone in need.
We may not have a real life superhero like Batman, who will rescue us from this sort of inherent evil, but we all have the ability to change the world into a better place by showing how much more powerful goodness is. We are bigger then the evil that was shown tonight; yes, it feels bigger at this moment. Yes, the damage that has been done is beyond repair and devastating, some will suffer for the rest of their life either through the loss of loved ones, or through the mental health issues that go along with witnessing such a horrific event. But I know the good in all of us, is so much bigger then one terrible man who made a disgusting decision that destroyed the lives of many.
Today, tomorrow and forever, let’s make the world better. We may not be able to stop these sort of events, but we can show that love really is better, that we are stronger. Let’s not start any debates today on gun laws, or the mental health of the suspect. For a moment, let’s do better, and spread love around us, because we should stand together today, undivided. All of us, in memory of those who lost their lives, for their families. For ourselves. We, all of us, in the present, and in the future, deserve a better world.
May all the victims and their families find peace however they need to find it.
The night is darkest just before the dawn. And I promise you, the dawn is coming.
- Harvey Dent (The Dark Knight)