By now everyone knows about the tragedy that played out in Aurora, Colorado early Friday morning. I woke up to several text messages and IMs from friends across the country asking if I was okay. I was completely oblivious to what had happened overnight; one friend had mentioned a shooting so I tried getting online to figure out the situation but of course my internet chose that exact moment to not work. Watching the newscast on TV was surreal, almost didn’t seem real. Like it was straight out of a movie.
I don’t think the reality of what had happened set in until mid-day; 12 people died, 50+ people were injured in a horrific shooting at the midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises. In my state. This wasn’t across the country happening to someone else’s community, this was just forty minutes away from where I live. This was my community. It was all anyone could talk about, it was all over the social media outlets and news sites. It was overwhelming and it’s hard to not be effected by it on some level, no matter where you live or how far removed you are. I don’t even have the proper words to form how I’m feeling about this. (The best piece I read about the shooting is this beautifully written article about countering such hate with love in the Denver Post.)
Late afternoon I found out an acquaintance’s brother was missing, that he had been at that screening the night before. I couldn’t imagine being in her position, the agonizing wait, the questions that were unanswered. At 3am, when my insomnia woke me up, I saw the text that the wait for answers was over. He had been one of the 12 victims to have died.
I didn’t know him, I don’t know this girl very well but when something like this happens to someone you know it’s that much more heart breaking. I cannot imagine what her and her family are going through right now, I can’t wrap my head around it. My heart hurts thinking about losing someone like that. Please send out lots of love and positive energy her way, as well as towards all the victims of this senseless act.
Now, we must continue to live our lives to the greatest degree. I’ve heard people proclaim they are not going to go see movies in theaters anymore, but I disagree with that. If you take that mentality you might as well bunker down in your basement and never leave your house because this could happen anywhere. You can’t hide from life, you can’t let fear drive you and I’m pretty sure none of the victims would want you to live your life that way either. It will take me a couple weeks to go see this movie but see it I will, because not going isn’t going to change what happened.
If you take anything away from this tragedy, I hope you love a little harder, be kinder to all you meet and give more hugs to those you care about. Not just today, but all days.