People die, it happens every day. Violence happens all the time.
I have stopped asking why, because there isn’t ever going to be an answer that I can accept.
It’s too much to bear. The victims of the Tucson shooting didn’t deserve to die. But as I sat glued to the news, my mind was with the families and the pain and shock I knew they would be in.
Then I found out one of the victims was a little girl, and I cried. I cried for her family, because I have a sliver of an idea what their lives will be like. I don’t know the specific pain that they are feeling, but I do know the exquisite agony of losing one of the brightest lights in your life.
Christina Taylor Green was a beautiful nine year old girl whose father is employed by the Los Angeles Dodgers. Long-time readers will know that I was employed by the Dodgers until the end of 2008. I have been thinking a lot about what I would say to him, since we have so many people in common. And….I don’t know.
I wish that I would have some sort of perfect thing to say, but I don’t. I am a realist. I can’t tell him it will get easier, I can’t tell him he’ll have peace. I can’t tell his wife that the little girl that looked like her will come back, because I know that’s all she wants to hear. I can’t lie. Their life as they knew it is ruined.
And above all, I can’t answer the question that they will ask themselves for the rest of their lives: Why?
I wish I knew. I wish I knew why it had to be Christina. I wish I knew why it had to be Madeline.
Kate @ UpsideBackwards says:
Sometimes there just are no answers, I think.
Love and hugs to you – and to the families of those killed and injured in Tucson.
The event was so horrendous, I’ve felt very upset about it for the last two
days. The families must be in agony.
Becoming a mum changed how I see death. Every passing story of tragedy has new meaning for me. I think about the mother and father, the ones that raised their child, put them to bed, the mother that held their hands when they were sick and gave them reassuring smiles when they were scared. The ones that breastfeed and nurtured and loved.
The world is a senseless and cruel place sometimes.
Perhaps you could give them a little charm so they can hang onto something and a “knowing” hug and a gentle hand that says “I know” . As you know sometimes the smallest act of kindness can go the longest of ways!
Think of you all often!!!
Alexandra :) says:
Goodness, I’m so sorry, for you and for Christina’s family. The loss of any child anywhere is an incalculable tragedy.
Lynn from For Love or Funny says:
Thinking about my fellow Americans down in Tucson…
Heather you are such a wonderful person to think of all these people in such a deep personal way. I too must agree with your statement “Their life as they knew it is ruined” I also think of the family of the young man who committed this crime. The above statement applies to them to.
Those questions will drive you mad, Heather. If there are answers to those questions, the answers aren’t ours to know. If there is a God and a Heaven (I’m always on the fence. Yes? No? Yes? No?) that’s what I’m asking Him, if I get the chance.
My (biggest) little girl is 10. I can’t imagine the size of her absence here. It’s horrible to consider.
I wonder that too. My friend just lost her baby boy, he had been in the hospital since birth (a little over a year) and was still on a ventilator, but he had just got to go home, he was better!! And then he was gone. I don’t understand that, why did they finally get to hope and then have it all snatched away. This world is so very cruel.
catherine lucas says:
Why is the most useless word in the context of death. I certainly refuse to believe that it happens because it’s God’s will. That is an even lousier answer then the question itself. We will never know why people dear to us go… Maybe the only answer to such a “why” is “just because…” by lack of other meaningful words.
Agreed. The “God’s will” answer makes the smoke roll from my ears. I just don’t think there will ever be an answer to “why.”
The tragedies this weekend broke my heart. The hate, the violence of it all. That little girl just trying to be part of the system, learn about the system, she didn’t need to die. The cruelty of life is sometimes too much for my heart to take.
Love and hugs.
It is horribly ironic that the smallest question, “Why”, just three letters, has the largest meaning. And no definitive answer.
Horrible, horrible, horrible.
My heart breaks for them..and continues to break for you and your family.
As someone said above, becoming a mother has changed how I look at these things. I couldn’t even watch news reports once I knew a child had died, and had a lot of trouble even reading a news article on Christina.
There is no answer to the “why.” It’s just so wrong.
I just watched an interview with her parents on GMA and cried. They seem so strong and talk about her with smiles on their face because of the joy she brought to their lives. I could not imagine the horrible pain behind those smile of any parent that has lost the joy of their life! I will pray for the families of this tragedy and I continue to pray for the parents of the beautiful little Madeline.
Barbara Howard says:
Oh Heather, I completely agree with your observations! It has been gut-wrenching watching the details of the Tuscon tragedy unfold. I would only disagree with one part of your observation: the word “ruined.” Losing a child is horrendous. It causes unspeakable sadness, and the loss is never far from your consciousness. But no life is ever ruined permanently unless the person gives up on everything else. You haven’t done that, and I pray that Christina’s family won’t either. I have suffered many devastating losses in recent years, but life has shown me that there are new loves, new lives to turn my focus on. The people I’ve lost are never gone from my heart, and the holes their absence left will never be filled, but today I can say that they are warmed by the other people I love today. I so hope that at some point, you and Christina’s family and all those who suffer such horrible loss will be able to do the same.
I am pretty sure she meant life as they knew it. Life as they knew it will NEVER be the same. And its a tragedy.
I struggle so much with this. I always thought that after my brother died, I would know THE RIGHT thing to say to someone who is grieving. But I still don’t. I guess because there is no right thing.
And there is no way to understand it. My last blog post is about a similar subject…..I try so hard not to focus on the why, because in the end, we aren’t given that information, as much as we want it. But it’s hard not to long for answers.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again and again. No parent should ever have to outlive their child…..and no child should ever have to grow up without both parents.
I think your title for this post sums up all parts of this. It is simply just unexplainable.
Sometimes there are no answers, sadly enough. My heart breaks for you and for Christiana’s family.
My heart breaks for you and the families in Tucson especially Christinas. I knoww loss. I lost my dad when I was 13. My grandma, my one year old niece, 2 brothers and my mother. There’s a void no one can fill. Sending you hugs!
Shannon Leon-Etnyre says:
Heather – It just doesn’t make any sense. I have been searching for that answer & there isn’t one. I think its the most difficult thing to understand in the world. My 18 year old sister is fighting Stage 3/4 cancer & I can’t make any sense of it. Especially with young people. A life too short for anyone’s comfort. What are we supposed to learn from these tragedies?
It’s just so awful. All of it. I just don’t understand what happens to a person that so much hate fills their heart.
I think the only thing you can say to a person in those moments is that you’re so sorry, that your hearts hurts for their family and offer up a shoulder to cry on or a listening ear. I know you know that, and I know the feeling of “it just doesn’t seem like enough to say those things to them.”
I can’t image what feelings this has stirred up for you. Lots of prayers and love to you today. Many for Christiana’s family, too, and all the other families effected by this.
There can’t be a reason why, because no reason would make sense. Its not right. Its not fair. Its horrible and awful. ((((HUGS))))
I’ve been deeply upset since I learned about the shooting Saturday. It’s just so senseless and unthinkable, but I don’t think anything made me more upset than to hear about poor Christina and her family. She went there to learn about Congress as she had just been elected to her school’s student council. This is unfair. I cried hearing her father speak this morning.
I worked in the district office of a Member of Congress for two years. We went to countless public events, met constituents, shook hands. A few times there were nuts present, but never did I fear for my life. It makes me really, really angry that this happened. She was there to hear from constituents, to learn from them, to HELP them. This should not have happened.
It is a horrible tragedy what happened here in my home town. I also cried when I found out there was a little girl that lost her life. I don’t know how I would handle it if that had been my daughter. Every time I think about the whole thing I tear up. My heart and prayers are with you and all the suffering families here in Tucson.
Love and hugs
judi mitchell says:
Just like everyone else, I feel so sad for these families ~ such a senseless tragedy and one that will be life altering for so many people.
If I am fortunate enough to go to Heaven someday, I’m going to arrive with a list of questions. A long list.
Our hearts and prayers go out to all of the victim’s family, and loved ones. Speaking of the beautiful little nine year old girl that lost her life; I’m so, so sorry, Heather, that you have to even have a hint of the sorrow that they will endure for the rest of their lives……………
You are always in my thoughts, Heather.
Thoughts and prayers to everyone hurting from Saturdays tragedy.
I don’t think there’s a good answer to that question.
I think just acknowledging their pain is a good start. I haven’t been able to get that little girl off my mind…she was a very special person with a very special purpose, that’s for sure.
the loss of a child will pull us all past the abyss of why. you, my dear, are an unfortunate resident of the abyss. and sadly, there’s now one more family that will need the help of those who have arrived before to show them not the way out, but the way through.
hugs to you, sweet girl.
It’s so sad. My heart goes out to all those families. My heart goes out to any parent who has had to bury their child. It’s not right, and it’s fair.
I agree with you and have thought about that family so much the past couple of days. I too lost a child, but wouldn’t have the words for sweet Christiana’s parents. My heart goes out to them.
I have been very overwhelmed thinking about all of the families who lost loved ones in this senseless tragedy as well. I am thinking so much of Christina’s family who will never again be whole.
I was reading the book Charlie St. Cloud and in the afterword, there was a quote that really resonated with me, “There are too many good people who die a little when they lose someone they love.” I think this is such an insightful quote. It made me think of you and I can also relate to it because I lost my mother too young.
I suppose if you could find the answer you would be a wealthy woman..but yet, I don’t think it would change how your heart feels. Hugs.
Ann's Rants says:
But meeting someone like you who has survived/is surviving and is a little further along on this journey–knowing that you exist, will provide the one thing probably hardest to come by–a little tiny hope that a life worth living still exists after such unspeakable tragedy.
Parents should never have to bury their children. It is just not the way that life is supposed to happen. I don’t know the answers either. Why Christina, Madeline (and my sons, Jake and Sawyer)? I wish I knew the answers or the words to ease the pain . . .
Heather I can not say it enough, thank you for your honesty.
You wrote:”Their life as they knew it is ruined.” Since the very moment I learned about the loss of your Madeline I have thought that very same thing and then told myself to shut up because I have no close frame of reference. And it sounds so hard, too hard to accept.
Ruined captures the catastrophe, the epic shift. What you knew and loved and believed in and could touch is gone.
As you and Mike continue to write you show us the new, the changed, that is in itself exquisitely beautiful. But that ruination that terrifies us all is a bitter part of life and you say it plain. I think you are so brave. Much love.
Yes. I cannot add anything to this comment, except my thanks to Heather and Mike for their amazing willingness to share their journey with us.
It sucks that there will never be answers. It sucks that things like this happen and it’s just not fair. I have no idea the pain you and the families face when they loose a child. I couldn’t imagine. I am praying for you and your family, as well as the families affected by this horrible tradgedy.
Dee Dee says:
Heather, I was just reading this :
The mention of my child’s name may bring tears to my eyes,
But it never fails to bring music to my ears.
If you are really my friend, let me hear the beautiful music of his name.
It soothes my broken heart and sings to my soul.
– – – Author Unknown
and it reminded me of you. I remember after losing my son’s father, my mother and my mother in less than 5 years how heart breaking it was for people to avoid conversations about them. Many people acted as if speaking their names would cause thunder to roll and many days I agreed with them but the majority of the days I sooo wanted someone to talk to me about them so I could relish in their memories.
My heart goes out to you Heather!
Right now my thoughts are going to this girl… http://molly-campbell.com/w1/node/1
I encourage your readers to read more about her and hope/pray for her survival.
Your posts never seize to amaze me Heather….the honesty and pureness in them. Although I have not lost a child, I have lost people close to me (my dad for one) and even 10 years later I wonder why…and it’s still not any easier. I, too, always wish I knew what to say. I am a firm believer in everything happens for a reason….but in all honesty of it is there a good reason for the loss of a child….I wish I knew.
Chills. I thought of you guys in light of Christina, a little child, being one of the deceased. I am so sorry for all involved and for you and Mike to know similar pain.
Hamlet's Mistress says:
I understand. I was so shocked to hear it was Dallas Green’s granddaughter. He’s so beloved in this city (Philadelphia) and I’m just heartbroken for him and his whole family. It’s so senseless. And shame on the politicians for making it political. It makes me sick to my stomach.
Hoping for healing for the wounded and comfort for the families of the deceased. So hearbreaking.
“Why, why, why, why, why…why?”
I ask myself this a lot.
I wish you could have your Madeline back and Christina’s family, her.