It is a sad day. Whether in Virginia, here on the westcoast of Canada or in India, Australia or Germany, we are all collectively sad. Anger will most certainly follow but today it is sadness. I am, of course, referring to the mass shooting at Virginia Tech University.
A lump lies stuck in my throat as I stay glued to the tv. We all want answers. We all want to know why. But there will be no answer to that. Some things are unexplainable, even if the shooter had survived. No answer could ever satisfy.
Was the shooter a loner? Feel isolated? Family problems? Or was he just plain crazy? He would have to be crazy. How else could you pull that trigger over and over and over again? But at some point in his life he must have been sane. He must have loved. He must have laughed. What went wrong?
I am reminded of a time when a manuscript landed on my door. Excited with anticipation of who would leave me a manuscript, I flip right to page one and start reading. Almost immediately I realize that I am in trouble. A few pages in and a friend of mine is being held captive and raped. In short time I am being strung up by all fours and am being skinned alive. Cops are called. Doctors are paged. My classmate is put in a psych ward and I, for the first time in my life, live in fear.
The diagnosis is Schizophrenia but to me it’s just a label. This man wanted to kill me, schizophrenic or not. A few years later while I am in college, I receive a call from him apologizing. I want nothing to do with him but politely accept his apology while silently hoping he is ‘cured’ and I have nothing to worry about. I do not know what happened to this man. I hope he has gone on to live a happy, peaceful life. But I can’t help but think this is the type of guy who could go on a shooting rampage.
Would that be different if he had been shown more compassion and love in his life? If someone had simply sent a smile his way? Or is crazy just crazy?
So many questions. No answers.
My heart and thoughts go out to all friends and families involved. I am at a loss of what I can do to help. So from the other side of the continent, I will do what I am able to. I will hug my daughter a little tighter. I will continue to love her a little more each day. I will teach her compassion and love and empathy. I will bring up a human who may hold the smile and friendship that will make all the difference in another person’s life. And then that love will spread.