Is This Week Over Yet?

Actually…is this month over yet? As far as news goes, this month started off with the horrific and powerful letter a Stanford rape victim read aloud to her attacker.  And this week…well it has been one horrible, heartbreaking piece of news after the next. From the senseless murder of Christine Gimme, a singer on The Voice, to the incomprehensible Orlando shooting of 49 innocent people at a Pulse, a gay night club, to the alligator attack on that killed a 2-year-old little boy in Disney World (and those are just the terrible stories that make the headlines) I am beyond depressed.

I really don’t have a word to describe the emotion that sits between my chest and my throat. I wouldn’t be upset at all if someone told me June 2016 was just a terrible nightmare.

My heart is broken. It aches.

I’ve stood in front of the television and cried, and then felt guilty when I told myself I need a break from news for a while…because all of the families and loved ones involved in the tragedies I mentioned don’t have the option to turn off their pain.

I’ve put away laundry while thinking, “Really…what is this world coming too?” and “How do we fix this?” and “Will I ever truly feel safe again?” and “This can not be the reality that I raise my daughter in.” 

I’ve spoken to friends from all points on the solution spectrum (I can’t say both sides of the political aisle, because I have to, I must, believe that many of the people who are yelling at each other on Facebook right now all actually want the same thing – a place where life, liberty and a pursuit of happiness are actually protected).

I’ve woken up at 3:30am and, instead of falling back to sleep, had the faces of all the people who died this week, along with the faces of the children of the Sandy Hook shooting run through my (former) TV producer mind…and then I have contemplated getting into bed with my 5-year-old (who has finally been sleeping in her own bed for a few weeks now) because…I have no idea how else to stop the ache I feel in my chest.

So, as much as we all disagree about how to prevent another horrific week like this one, I think we can all agree that this week…has been shit.

And now what? Where does that leave all of us?

I honestly don’t know. I am beyond sad, I am beyond angry, I am beyond frustrated. But I refuse to lose hope. Because after a week like this one, hope is really all I’ve got. I mean, if we don’t have that, then what the hell is the point of trying to fix the broken world we’ve all been witness to? And in my small little world, there are a few things that I am holding on to:

  • I have had pretty heated conversations with people who do not share the same political beliefs as I do, and have different ways they believe we should address the terrible trend that is upon us. And I’ve come away seeing that we actually have some, if not a good amount, of common ground. I have to tell myself that that common ground exists in other circles and that will, that must, be the place we all start from in order to tackle mass shootings and terrorism.
  • Based on the passion with which people are discussing these horrors, I have to believe that there are more people who want to do good in this country, than there are people who want to do harm.
  • And after petitioning my representative to express what I think we need to do to prevent more killings like this one, the only thing I have left to do is love (and watch videos of an adorable rescue dog playing with his new fetch toy and New Yorkers rescuing a man who fell onto the subway tracks).

It sounds so cheesy, and perhaps even pointless, compared to the anguish that so many have felt this week, but really…this week has reminded me, for a million reasons, why it is so important to say I love you, to be kind, and to appreciate every day that is given to me and my daughter (and my family and friends…really, this list is long…I have so many people who I love – thank God).

So, as much as I really want this week to end, I am profoundly grateful that I have been fortunate enough to tuck my daughter into bed every night of it. I know there are so many who aren’t as lucky,