In the last few days, the images of the Boston tragedy keep flipping on and off in my mind. I learned today that the victims that passed were young: an eight year old boy, a twenty-nine year old young woman, and a twenty-three year old Boston University graduate student. So young. With their entire lives ahead of them. Each one was waiting for a loved one to cross the finish line.
The news of amputated limbs, blood splattered on the streets, and the abandoned sandwiches at outdoor restaurants are visuals and sounds that echo in my core. As the television displays headlines of what happened, my daughter asks, “What is so special about this report, Momma?” I tell her that something bad occurred at a race and the newscasters are telling us about what happened. With a straight face, she tells me, “Momma, special is supposed to be MAGICAL, not sad. Special is not sad.” I let her words hang and felt helpless in offering an explanation to her words.
My thoughts, her comment, and the parade of what I know about what happened on that early Boston morning are difficult to reconcile. Trying to grapple with how to move forward, I stumble. How does the mother and father of that little eight year old boy move forward? How do parents who live halfway across the world in China who mourn the loss of their beautiful daughter move forward? How does that grandmother who lost her granddaughter, who moved to Boston to care for her, move forward? We are a society obsessed with moving forward. But there are instances where it is difficult to know how to do that.
I am learning that as I get older, the less I know about everything.
I don’t understand why this happened. I don’t understand why there are people everyday in all parts of the world who live with the kind of brutality that happened in Boston. I don’t understand people and their motivations to hurt others. I don’t know how to explain any of this to my daughter.
Really, I don’t know how to move forward.