Tragedy from Afar

I don’t know where to begin. Dave and I were watching a Louis C.K. standup routine about how he was so old, he would need a thorough explanation as to why he should get up from a chair because when you get old, you really like sitting. We were laughing.

I was televiserphonernetting, with my iPad in hand, when I scrolled through and some a news blip about the explosions at the Boston Marathon. I paused the show, reading clips to Dave.

Tragedy had struck on American soil again.

It’s a bizarre feeling for me to watch such a horror unfold, knowing I’m so far away. I crave information, constantly checking every credible news source, along with Twitter (dangerous, I know). The same feelings of helplessness that surfaced in the wake of Hurricane Sandy and the Newtown shootings reappeared.

I heard the men working at the restaurant downstairs share deep belly laughs that— for a brief second— offended me… that they could be so insensitive with sadness unfolding. But of course they laugh and carry on— they have no idea of the information filling my news searches.

I have no loved ones in Boston, nor did I with Newtown. Even during Hurricane Sandy, we were in almost daily contact with Dave’s parents and knew they were ok. I have no obvious reason to be glued to CNN, or searching endlessly for news updates, yet I can’t help it. My heart still aches as if I did know someone there and I want answers, damnit!

These types of events often find us searching for answers, as if magically, in 140 characters someone would come take responsibility and explain why. But there is no explanation for such senseless acts. That’s why they are deemed senseless. I try and try to make heads or tails of what is happening in my country, to no avail. Being so far removed (geographically, anyway) and trying so hard to find (credible) information that would come so easy if I could just turn on a tv at home is frustrating. And when I’m so far away from those who are experiencing the same tragedy, the feeling of helpless isolation is almost strangling. My craving for information is, I suppose, my way of staying connecting, though physically far away.

There is one thing of which I’m quite certain: from these horrific tragedies comes inspiring stories of heroism, courage and most importantly, illustrations of our country’s ability to come together as a whole unit, working in concert toward a common goal of showing resilience, strength and love for one another. I hate that it takes events such as these to serve as reminders, but when you’re searching for answers where none currently exist, it’s a comfort that will have to suffice.

Hug someone you love a little tighter today. Then again next week. And when they look at you funny and ask what that was for, shrug and tell them just because. Then do it again.