When I saw the first images yesterday and the news began to sink in about the terrifying events that were unfolding in our beloved city, I felt "it." The same feeling I had after learning of the tragedy not long ago in Newtown, CT.
It was the familiar tug of despair, threatening to pull me down.
Yesterday had been a relaxing day off for our family and, if we'd been feeling a little more adventurous, we might have been there with our kids at the scene where this horrifying violence was now occurring in our beautiful and vibrant Boston. As my mind went over this possibility, I was flooded with hopelessness, the inside of my body feeling like a dark pit, empty except for this question:
HOW DO WE KEEP THEM SAFE???
My children, all of our children, how do we protect them from such unexpected cruelty?
As initial news reports were unclear in those first few moments, I went immediately to social media, searching for answers, knowing so many people I know and care for would be close to the scene and praying they could provide some kind of reassurance.
It was touching to see the outpouring of love and concern on Facebook, and a relief to learn that many of my friends were reporting they were OK. However, there were no real reassurances to be had. It didn't matter whether the people hurt or killed in this event were folks I knew or not. It didn't make it any more OK. I grieved for whoever had been in the path of the explosion.
We grieve for them because we are all one.
Over the last day or so, I have been fighting to not let the fear and grief take me down. I will cry, yes. But I will not despair.
We cannot afford to give up hope. Unfortunately, we can't know whether or not we can keep our children safe. But we cannot afford to stop trying.
I will tell myself that the world is not unraveling.
I heard someone point out on public radio today that, sadly, humanity has a long history of war and violence. If we look back at events such as the Holocaust, the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Crusades, we cannot say that we live in a time when things are getting worse. We need not jump to that conclusion.
The devastation that occurred yesterday was the result of a single act.
I will not even call the person or group who did this evil. I believe we all possess the same divine light and capacity for good. This was an action. A drop in the ocean of loving actions being carried out all over the Boston area and beyond, before the tragedy, during, and after.
It gives me hope to see the outpouring of love and generosity from my fellow Bostonians and in fact the rest of the country and the world.
Boston, I love you. Don't give up. We will not succumb to hatred, resignation or bitterness. We can get better. We have to.
When something like this happens, our instincts tell us we must help. One friend who was near the blast told me today that she had to fight with herself to force her body to run away from the scene as the police ordered her to evacuate. Her soul was pulling her like a magnet, telling her to run toward the victims and try to help someone.
We all want to help. In the coming weeks I'm sure many opportunities to do so will emerge. Many people are opting to donate blood. The city of Boston has set up a fund for the victims. Individual fundraising pages are also being created.
If you are interested in donating to Boston Children's Hospital, please consider making a $15 donation via my fundraising page.
A portion of your donation will also help to bring healing to the people of Newtown, CT, a cause still on my heart and mind every day.
May all those who are affected by this trauma find healing, hope and peace. May we come together in love and compassion. May we remember that we are all one. I promise to do my part to help our city heal. I promise not to give up hope.
Love you Boston.