Friday, Day 4, I was feeling crummy... I took my shower, as promised, got dressed, changed the (then) depressing meditation music to some quirky Roger Miller - I got out my rainbow toe socks and put them on - I was starting to feel better, maybe even neutral.
The rest of Day 4... Then I checked Facebook, and the first thing I saw was a reference to prayers to those in CT - so against my vow to not read mainstream media, I looked it up and realized that there had been another school shooting, this one in Connecticut. I immediately burst into tears thinking about all of those people in that horrifying situation, and especially the children. So young, so innocent, lives so short, and the surviving everybody in that school, their lives will never be the same. At that time my husband, Richard called on his lunch break from teaching in a special ed school, and I told him about the shooting, and really couldn't say much more because of the tears. I spent quite a bit of time wrapped in the media, reading all of the crazy arguments for and against gun control. To me this is a far bigger issue than simple gun control. People intent on killing people are going to find the means, whether it's guns, knives, bombs, their hands... from what I understand, tighter gun control would not have helped in the CT shootings case. The guns used were legally the mother's, who was killed prior to the big school rampage. Anyway, I'm not for or against - I hate that topic that goes round and round, when there's far more to this violent and loving society. Media, media, media. Ugh.
We lived in Littleton when the shootings took place at Columbine. My kids were in 1st, 3rd and 5th grades at the time. Those who were outside on the school grounds at the time could hear the bombs going off. Our house backed up to one of the main roads, and many emergency personnel were going by... let me back up a little, first, though.
I had just discovered the "Artist's Way" book, and was learning about my creative side and taking care of and nurturing myself. I'd begun to feel the joy in life, and was beginning to see it in the little things. I vividly remember walking the boys to school that morning, and my youngest, Peter, who was 6 at that time, was skipping to school, just as happy to be in the present moment as anywhere else. I skipped with him and felt this upwelling of Joy in my heart. My cup overfloweth as I placed them in the care of the elementary school. I walked home and took out a watercolor picture to work on for the first time - my first, and last time I've ever attempted to water color. I remember feeling the joy of creating, even if it was a little frustrating working with the watercolors. I don't know what I was doing next, but I was still in that state of pure Joy, when my stepmother called me from Idaho to ask if we were all okay. I definitely didn't have my television on at that time, and Facebook had yet to be invented. She told me what was going on just 2 miles from my home. I turned on the television and sat there in horror as it unfolded before my eyes. I called the boys' school and was told I couldn't get the children since the school was in lock-down. That was a horrific feeling, not being able to get my kids and hold them tight.
Finally, we got the go ahead to come into the school and pick up our kids. I picked up the younger kids first, then went to the 5th grade room, and what I saw astounded and infuriated me. All of the kids, 10 and 11 years old, were huddled around a television set that was broadcasting LIVE, the events that were still unfolding at Columbine. No teacher or adult was in sight. When I found the teacher, she was outside (just outside the room) talking on her cell phone with her husband reassuring him that she was ok. I grabbed my son and we all left for home.
When we got home, we watched for about 15minutes more to see if there was more information. Then I had to shut it off for my sake and for the boys' sakes.
The weather was very interesting, I thought, for that whole next week. I was overcast and rainy, and to me it seemed that the entire city was crying, definitely our community was. We were mainly in shock especially as the details came forth and became more clear.
So, yes, all of these memories get re-triggered every time there's a shooting, which unfortunately seems to be more and more often. I saw a lot of references on Facebook after Friday's shooting to wanting to hold their children close. My kids are all grown up now and dispersed around the country, so I wouldn't have the immediate satisfaction of holding them. They were definitely in my thoughts and in my heart, and I will see them soon for the holidays. My heart goes out to those big souls that continued their journeys beyond this physical realm, my heart goes out to those big souls who are left in this dimension with unfathomable grief, my heart goes out to the community, and to the world.
I am reminded of some of my favorite lines by Kahlil Gibran:
Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding.
Even as the stone of the fruit must break, that its heart may stand in the sun, so must you know pain.
And could you keep your heart in wonder at the daily miracles of your life, your pain would not seem less wondrous than your joy;
And you would accept the seasons of your heart, even as you have always accepted the seasons that pass over your fields.
And you would watch with serenity through the winters of your grief.
Through pain, we can learn deeper love and more profound joy. The rest of Friday was quite melancholy for me, as I processed the events, and the memories, and contemplate the darkness of society, as well as the light. On one level I am not surprised that this devastating event happened in the darkest time of the year, possibly the darkest time of all time. On another level, I see it as an amazing opportunity for greater Light to shine through. Most of us humans regard death as sad and tragic, and the end... this is how we're trained, especially in Western civilization. We fear death.
What I've come to understand about death, through studies of near-death experiences, meditations, Eastern philosophy and other explorations, that it is not the end - well, yes, it's the end of this physical incarnation, but it is not the end of our souls, or our spirits. We've lived many times, in many fashions, in many Universes. What I've also come to understand is that we have soul contracts with one another, usually to help each other grow spiritually. I believe that includes these heinous events that are created by man. In this regard, these precious children and adults, whose lives were taken so early according to our personality perspectives, agreed prior to their incarnations with their soul groups for their or their family members' greater spiritual growth to pass from this life in this manner. This does not lessen the pain experienced in this third dimension of personality and matter, but from a soul perspective the purpose is reconnection with Source and a remembering of who we really are, resolving duality, returning to the Light.