Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Close to home

My friend just called to tell me that one of the people killed in the terror attack on the Hudson River bike path yesterday was a high school classmate of her son. This boy's father took his own life in his senior year of high school. It happened only a few months after my friend's husband had taken his life as well. She says that family helped her and her son heal. But now that boy's mother must endure another unspeakable loss. My friend is reeling at the news, identifying with the mother of that slain young man. She says she keeps finding herself standing on street corners, sobbing.

When my cousin in Virginia called me yesterday, and asked, "Do you see what's happening in your city?" I was oblivious. The TV was tuned to Fixer Upper, and I was all but ignoring it as I worked. "Turn on the news," she said, and when I did, I began urgently texting loved ones to make sure none of them had been on that path at three something that afternoon. Any one of them could have been. But my daughter was at work. My son was dropping off his rent check in Astoria. My niece was just leaving the hospital in Newark where she works. Everyone else I reached out to was safe.

I heard five of the eight people killed were Argentine tourists, in the city for a thirtieth high school reunion and out for an afternoon bike ride. Even with six degrees of separation, it seemed unlikely that I'd be connected to any of the remaining three who died. I was wrong. And now you who read here are connected, too.

9 comments:

  1. We are all connected but sometimes it is more apparent than others.
    How incredibly horrible.

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  2. I thought of you and your family when I heard the news. And, what Ms. Moon said. Oh, the sadness . . . again.

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  3. We are connected in joy and in sorrow. So much pain. And yet, the beloved community. You are there for your friend who is tearful and reeling. Sending love. I think of Gandhi's words. "Love is the strongest force the world possesses and yet it is the humblest imaginable."

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  4. Random acts of violence. Why? No answers. Only great sadness.
    Again. My heart goes out to your friend and the woman that lost her son. Heartbreaking. Susan

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  5. I have never been a word person. I am feeling person. I can’t describe in words the pain I feel. The dismay. The sadness. The feeling of emptiness. I close my eyes to block the pain. I open them. It’s still there.

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  6. What she must be feeling, prayers are just not enough. And you, what you must be feeling, too. I am so sorry, I feel like I am so sorry for everyone in the world right now. Hold the ones you love tight, both there and here - I am holding you tight.

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  7. Over and over our sadness stirred by the utter madness of these times. There are no words that can convey this grief. I am so sorry for every broken heart.

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  8. Oh, how horrible. The whole thing.

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  9. These terrorist attacks need to end, unfortunately its the innocent people that are targeted, and anyone is fair game to them. It is sad to say but my thoughts on this is that I feel things are just going to get worse in our society.... I have been crying every morning as I read the new online.... not a good way to start out the day. And you are right we are all connected.

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