it might get loud December 17, 2012

“No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear.” – C.S. Lewis

 

Yesterday, we got to the movie theater earlier than most and grabbed center seats. As the room started to fill up, I started feeling really anxious. A tightness in my chest. Giving people an extra once-over as they settled in with their popcorn. When the lights went down, I realized I had slunk down in my chair so my head was barely peeking over the back. With the previews rolling, I took a few deep breaths and told myself…”You’ll be fine.” Really? Who is this person that’s afraid to be out and about? To be with people. To live her life.

Something changed for me on Friday. Watching the news come in, the tightening in my chest and the sinking feeling as the updates went from bad to worse. I’ve had a couple heaving, shaking cries. Mourning the loss of so many innocent people, searching for answers the way I know many have since then. Trying to sort out in my head how I can talk about bringing children into a world that’s, frankly, pretty scary. Incredulously wondering where people are safe if they can’t even go to school without fear. Thinking about dear friends who care so much for children & how selfless those folks are. I haven’t felt this way since September 11th – scared at how thin our fiber is when it is held up to the light.

I’m not a political pundit. I’m not an expert on gun control or security or psychological care. I’m a food blogger with a quiet space to turn to when I need to chat. I come here to sort myself out and, sometimes, folks come here to read it. I’m also a citizen who knows that the tragedy that took place on Friday should never happen…yet happens far too often. As many in our blogging community are observing a social media day of silence – in honor of those whose lives are forever changed – I finally have the lump out of my throat and, today, I just needed to talk. Will this be the thing that jolts us awake? Will be be able to get out of this blurry sea of fear and grief and do something this time instead of just wringing our hands until the next worst-thing-ever occurs?

Today is the day where we all have to go back to our “real lives” – no more hiding at home and tucking away from what’s happened. We go back to work, we send our children back to school, we do our best to be normal. We hug each other a little more, a little tighter. Readjust to our routine and be mindful of those for whom there is no normal anymore. Send our positive thoughts and energy and love to a town full of folks I’ve never met…and use whatever we have left to not let fear win. My hope is that, after these days of silence, it IS the time to address the access to weapons, a frighteningly weakened healthcare system that casts aside issues of mental health, and a culture where death and violence is commonplace and seems like just part of a game. I hope that, after today, that the voices of all who can’t bear to watch another Friday begin being heard and it might get loud.

photo taken in New York City – June 2012

Comments

Angie Harrison Dec 17, 2012 09:12 am

Thank you so much for sharing today….

Rachel@TimeforGoodFood Dec 17, 2012 09:12 am

Beautifully written, Tami. I completely agree!

Jen @ Savory Simple Dec 17, 2012 10:12 am

Well said

Miriam/El invitado de invierno Dec 17, 2012 11:12 am

Access to weapons. Yes, that’s the key. No civilized country should have that amount running out and about.

Lynn Dec 17, 2012 11:12 am

Yes – it’s been difficult to go about day to day activities in the wake of this tragedy.

merry jennifer Dec 17, 2012 11:12 am

I’m glad you didn’t stay silent. I think we should be talking about these issues. And in doing so, maybe we’ll create a better place – a place where we can all feel safe.

Lauren Dec 17, 2012 12:12 pm

I too am glad you didn’t stay silent. (And I’m glad I didn’t know we were *supposed* to!) I think, right now, as ever was, silence is perhaps the wrong choice. At least for me. Silence is what I get to ask my son for if I’m concentrating and he’s feeling chatty, and silence is what all those parents will have too much of from here on out. Loud is better.

I hope, I hope that this IS it. The final straw that get us to stand up and say, NO MORE. Thank you for writing this. I got to see my son of to school today, so he could take his science exam. I can’t wait to go and pick him up.

Kelsey Dec 17, 2012 12:12 pm

Thanks for not being silent, Tami. Silence breeds acceptance. I don’t accept a world like this.

Laura Scholz Dec 17, 2012 02:12 pm

So beautifully stated. I’ve been struggling to put words around it–why I feel the need, after Friday more than any other tragedy I’ve experienced in my lifetime–to DO SOMETHING. To feel like we won’t just mourn and hug each other tighter for an extra week or so, but indefinitely…and TOGETHER, as a society, say enough is enough with something so tragic yet so preventable. Not only guns and their accessibility and pervasiveness in our culture (and what scares me more than this is those who are reacting to this tragedy by shouting for MORE guns—as if shooting matches with our neighbors are the way to solve things, that that should be our gut reaction to a sense of danger), but how mentally frail and unstable some of our citizens are, and how they and their caregivers and family–and we, inhabitants of the same earth–deserve better.

Monica Dec 17, 2012 02:12 pm

Voices should be heard now and we need to start taking action before another tragedy happens.

Jennifer Walker Dec 17, 2012 04:12 pm

Your words are so true, it does feel like fear. I have had grief, but for some reason Friday has affected me strongly. Today, doing normal stuff, has been a bit scary. I had to go to the courthouse to get tags, was cautious of my surroundings. Thanks for your words.

Carrie @ Bakeaholic Mama Dec 17, 2012 07:12 pm

Such a great post Tami. I wish I could have found the words to write something today. But I just couldn’t.

Chris Dec 17, 2012 09:12 pm

Thank you for this. Love you, my friend!

Tiana Kai Dec 18, 2012 04:12 am

Thank you for this. I’m living in Italy now and as safe as it is, I felt a bit anxious on the bus on Saturday… thinking ‘wow, how easy would it be to do anything devastating on this bus.’ It is frightening to think how easy it really easy. Yet, we must live our lives with trust and assurance that all will be OK or we will be anxious every day and die of stress rather than really trying to enjoy the moment. But, oh my, this has been extremely sad and frightening at the same time! It’s also been weird for me not being in the States tuning into local news. I have watched CNN videos about this, but it’s not the same to really feel what the whole country is feeling. Sad holiday season…

Baking to Heal - Eat The Love Dec 18, 2012 08:12 am

[...] Tami  wrote a beautiful piece on grief and the returning to the real world. [...]

Stefanie @ Sarcastic Cooking Dec 18, 2012 11:12 am

Very well put.

stacey snacks Dec 19, 2012 04:12 pm

Don’t let the bad people win.
There are too many good people in the world.

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Lesley MacMichael Dec 25, 2012 03:12 am

You put into words what so many can’t express.