I have never lost a close friend or relative, so I don’t feel qualified to comment on the grief that is instilled into the hearts of those who have. However, there is a grief that is stirred in anyone who hears stories like those that have arisen from Newton, Connecticut, or Clackamas, Oregon, or Aurora, Colorado. This resonating grief is common to every person. With it come confusion, anger, and a longing for peace and healing.
Bear with me as I reflect and stumble through some thoughts.
“So you’re a student, right?” said the elderly woman as she jabbed a needle into my arm.
“Uh… yeah,” I said.
“I remembered that!” she said as I thought When have I ever spoken to this woman?
She continued, “What are you studying?”
I braced myself and replied, “Music and English Literature.”
“Mmmmmhm.” She bit her lip and nodded her head slightly. “I remember you. I’m bad with names but I remember you. You’ve been working somewhere this summer, right?”
Prior to today, I hadn’t given blood in a year. And when I did, it wasn’t at the American Legion Post, where this lady was trying to convince me that she knew me at least on a hairdresser basis. So unless she had recently run into me somewhere, asked me about my life and then hit me over the head with a hammer, she had to have been guessing. What other things did she magically come to know about me? Would she ask about my sister’s dancing? Would she ask how the puppies are doing? Did she know about the incident with the medical research donation letters?
“Yeah, I’ve been interning with a refugee resettlement agency.”