Monday, April 15, 2013

Dealing with Grief

There are no words to make tragedies better. 

In fact, it's beyond me as a writer and a thinker to fully comprehend today's attack on the Boston Marathon. The bombing which, as of now, killed three people and injured at least 138 more is an unmitigated disaster. 

There is someone who awoke on Patriots Day with the intent to strip us of our freedom, of our piece of mind, and ultimately of our lives through an act of terror. Patriots Day is a celebrated holiday in Massachusetts, a day filled with sport, fun, friends, and most of all, family while celebrating our freedom.

Perhaps that's why the tragedy which occurred at the finish line of the 116th Boston Marathon  rendered me immovable, glued to a television screen as one of our worst nightmares unfolded right in our backyard. 

No, I haven't lived in Boston. I live in one of the safest suburbs in Massachusetts and rarely feel the need to venture directly into Boston unless I'm attending a sporting event or someone is willing to buy me a nice dinner. But through years of avid sports viewing and general proximity, I've been to the city countless times. I've been to the Boston marathon, I've walked down Boylston street, and I know people who volunteer and run in this great event each year. 

This hits close to home. Today, we are all Bostonians.

I haven't cried often in the past few years, but today I shed tears. I can't remember the last time I've felt so helpless, but today I sat on the couch without any clue how to deal with my emotions and not having a way to help. I assume I'm not alone in my response to today's events. 

No one woke up today dreading a disaster at the Boston Marathon. But anyone who's lived in the area or has a connection to the area felt an immediate attachment to the tragedy which unfolded. Mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, friends and others were affected today. Hopefully, by the grace of the powers above, none of our closest family members and friends were directly affected. 

But maybe that's why the emotions raged within me, knowing that it very easily could have been any of  us who decided to hang out near the finish line. 

To be honest, I have no real direction or real point to be made with the blog post. At 8:45pm, roughly 6 hours after the events took place, I'm pissed off. I'm angry that someone attacked my city, injured my people, and ruined the innocence of one of the greatest holidays and events of the year. I'm angry that I can't help, I'm angry that all of this happened.

A few hours ago I was more shocked than anything. Incapable of moving, incapable of thinking, just watching and occasionally letting out a few sobs. It's a horrible feeling, something I hope I never have to feel again. Unfortunately, I most likely will.

Lastly, I'd be remiss to mention all that was good today, however hard it may be to find good in such evil. As President Barack Obama stated, Boston is tough and resilient and won't be knocked down from this. While the ideals behind terrorism is to strike fear into the hearts of free citizens, one can hope that this will only strengthen the Commonwealth. 

And while it may take the darkest of days, today also brought out the greatness in our society. There are some deplorable, cowardly people out there, but today we saw that the good will always outweigh the evil. We saw Boston Police officers rush bravely towards the explosions. We saw volunteers tear through debris to rescue hundreds, and we saw over 1200 civilians in Boston offer their homes to displaced runners. 

I don't know whether it was the right move to write something while the emotions from today's attack are so raw. Honestly, I don't know what to think about today. But I do know that writing often helps deal with sorrow and frustration, at least for me. And hopefully, through reading this, I've helped some of you as well. I'll leave you with words much wiser than mine. 

"When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, "Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping." To this day, especially in times of disasters, I remember my mother's words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers, so many caring people in the world." -Fred Rogers

7 comments:

  1. This is perfect.

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  2. Very nice piece. It's important in times like this to express ourselves any way we can.

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  3. Very well written and said. You have a gift and it is so important for young people to express their grief in any positive way they can. Well done Marc. I hope you helped others in dealing with this unthinkable act of terror. The best part of this, if there is one, is hearing all the random acts of kindness and heroism displayed yesterday. That is the Boston that we are all proud of and know so well!

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