I spent a good part of my Sunday watching reporters rehash the events of, “The deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S history.” Words like gunman, open fire, assault and death toll trampled across my screen with a crude force I can’t fully comprehend. How many times will we have to hear those words, see the vulgar juxtaposition of tragic stories sprinkled between car commercials and ads about online dating? How many times will we feel the vibration of hatred as the cold acts of terrorists shake our lives?
Who can say?
Fifty club-goers confirmed dead in Orlando as I type this. Suffering is a sweeping flame. Who can say where the fire will burn?
I’m angry, aching, yet roughly unaffected. I understand this as my fingers bend around my warm ceramic mug, the aroma of a bold brew rising to meet my senses. My teen sprawls on the sofa, engrossed in some YouTube video that’s playing on his device. But tragedy… so I ask: What’s fair about life?
Not a damn thing.
And nothing can change that. We can reconstruct crime scenes, solve mysteries, fill courtrooms with criminals, but we cannot make life fair.
But that doesn’t mean we stop trying. Hell no. That would be lunacy.
I sit here knowing we cannot undo what’s been done. So what should I say? This entire letter is constructed of cliches, words we beat and rebirth when grief pounds a fist in our faces. “We’re not promised tomorrow.” Yup we know.
But that doesn’t mean we stop saying it. God no. That too would be lunacy.
No, we don’t know what tomorrow will bring, whether monotony or mayhem. So let’s open the locked boxes of our humanity. Let’s unpack the kind words we reserve for greeting cards and commemorative speeches. Set them free. Let them fill the spaces between us. Let frozen tears fall and burned bridges be rebuilt.
There’s no time for hate. No space for silence. Even if we’ve said it all before, say it again.
If you love someone, say so.
We’ve seen the explosion of blame on social media, the lambasting of religion, Islam, and even the gay community. Nonsense. If hate is the problem, how can it possibly be our solution? While the fog of tragedy still hangs thick in the air, speak love. Live love. It may be our only weapon. We can do this one thing: affect the atmosphere within our own homes, within our own hearts.