The horror which befell Virginia Tech yesterday is of an unspeakable nature.
There is a feeling of inescapability to it, I think. There is so much else going on right now in the world, and in my own life, but for the life of me I can’t stop wishing there was something I could do to help or comfort those more directly affected by it. However, I can’t help but feel affected by it as well. It all could have happened at my Alma Mater just as easily as anywhere else.
I am reminded of how I felt when listening to the radio about the bombings in the London Underground two summers ago. I was just out there, living, traveling in those tubes. I had been to Kings Cross Station numerous times, and passed it so many more. I have for London, as I have for being a university student, a distinct familiarity with being in that place. I was just there. I cannot escape the feeling that I could have been there and want to be there because it feels as though my friends could be there.
All this writing does very little. There are no words that befit such a pointless, painful loss of life. A lack of words is not discomforting, though. There is a comfort to silence. Silence creates a somber space for the mind to unravel its twisting thoughts or wrap them in a warm cocoon. In silence, you can have a friend put an arm around your shoulder, and that will be all that is needed. I take comfort in the fact those poor souls still reeling from all that has happened have that out there for them.
An event like this displaces the soul from the normal progress of time. To the affected soul, time can slip by without a notice or slow down into agonizing micro-moments that never seem to pass. Eventually, the soul will recover, and the mind will be able to perceive the world as it is once more. Hence the adage, “Time heals all wounds.” It is a simple truth, and the affected will settle back in the world in their own time.
Those lost are at peace now. It is their friends and families that must now cope. For the rest of us, the time is not to debate, to speculate, or to even speak. The time for all that will come eventually. For now, let us just pay our respects with our silence.