A lot has happened these past couple weeks that have reminded about how blessed my life is and how much I love everyone in it. The Chardon High School shooting was in the northeast Ohio area, and while I didn’t know anyone involved, it moved me deeply as an educator. Three students from BGSU, my alma mater, passed away in a car crash at the beginning of spring break – making it six students this year that the university has lost. I hear of other losses, of health problems, of pain, among people I am close to or people that I have once met. It all breaks my heart. But at the same time, it makes me stand up straighter. It makes me take a pause and a deep breath. Then it makes me keep going. It makes me go forward trying to be stronger than before, motivated to make the most of the abilities, opportunities, and love in my life. It makes me want to do all I can to make others’ lives easier.
The frequency of tragedy does not ease its pain. It does not make it more understandable to me. I will never understand how one second someone can be here and the next second, they’re gone. I will never understand why great people, who treat others with warmth and work hard, go through such trials. When I first lost someone very dear to me very suddenly, during college, I felt broken. I remember, shortly after learning the news, I went to the church just off campus that I attended, which was unlocked and open 24 hours. I sat in the dark. I cried. I lit a candle. I prayed and cried. I went home. I cried myself to sleep. I woke up the next day and looked at the window. People were walking to class. I somehow got dressed and ready. I went to the union to get much-needed coffee. People were studying. People were laughing. I didn’t understand how the world could keep moving forward when it felt like it should be standing still.
I know people who are loved are lost everyday. I know people receive terrible health news or diagnosis everyday. I know people are hurt and taken advantage of and neglected everyday. I have known all this for quite some time. For some reason, I have been feeling the truth of it more and more lately. It sits heavily in my heart. I just wanted to say, if you are going through pain, if you feel broken, if you don’t understand why the world isn’t standing still, you’re not alone. I won’t say it’s okay. It’s not okay. But I promise: you’re not alone.