It’s pretty much impossible to say “feel better” in the face of the purest definition of tragedy. I will instead offer what I believe to be a context in which to place this tragedy, so that we can begin to cope. That context is, specifically, what it means to be human.
A human is a product of their experiences and the lessons they’ve been taught by factors in their life. A human has feelings and emotions, some that cause them to be elated and some that cause them immense amounts of pain. A human even has the capacity to feel the emotions of another. A human works to overcome hardship and through that, inspires strength in others. A human strives to communicate: to understand others and be understood. A human creates artistic reflections of their inner self so that they can share it with the world. A human tries and sometimes fails without the right tools to help them. And a human learns from their mistakes and aspires to be better. A human feels pain when they hurt another. A human has a spirit and a light that only they possess, and that makes some funny, some introverted, some sweet, and some brazen.
A human can love and be loved. They can see into the soul of another and love them more than they love themselves. A human can keep the understanding of another’s spirit, and that spirit can grow inside them and become a part of who they are forever.
Those who commit acts of violence and take the lives of others are not human. They are bodies that carry broken computers. Though they appear human, they don’t have the ability to feel what humans feel. And they do not have the capacity to understand what humans understand. Which is why they can commit acts that defy our understanding. And the capacity to feel, cannot be learned. There can be many causes of this void of a soul, which to a human, are tragic in their own way, but not to a broken computer. Because without a soul a person does not have the vital logic needed to exist in society. A soul is what gives us the ability to understand the real value of life.
As a human we can share so much strength without even knowing it. We can give of ourselves to our fellow humans, just by letting our hearts rest with them, and by understanding the pain that they feel. In the face of such tremendous loss, we can embrace that we feel so much for the families that suffer, and that we wish we could take their suffering away.
We can think of them, feel love for them, send prayers to them, and send wishes of relief to them. And we can take some comfort in knowing that we truly mourn the losses of people we don’t even know, because we are human.
Sending much love to everyone in Connecticut, especially those who have suffered such great losses, xox Sarah
Featured image Lauri Burns and The Teen Project