What can we learn from this? If I had to name something that would've helped, it would be the same as if I were experiencing grief: I needed an ear or a shoulder, but no words. I decided it had to run its course, I had to get to a point where I could regain a sense of balance, and that couldn't happen until it was all played out in my head.
For someone watching, trying to 'be there' for a person in an emotional train wreck, the experience is much different. Nothing said helps, no alternatives offered are considered, and the helplessness and frustration mounts until there is no choice but to back away and exit. Obviously, that's not much of a shoulder. It's difficult not to "do something," anything, when in a helping situation, but that's exactly what you need to forget about. Just be there and listen.
My solace came from processing it all, reading as much as I could tolerate, looking at all the photos searching for a recognized face, then I just pushed it all away. I headed outside to enjoy the beautiful afternoon, armed with a curry and my camera, and let my dogs and horse plunge me back into the moment. Ah, there's the joy again; the pure and unadulterated, unblemished joy. It cleared my head. And heart.
The people in Binghamton, NY are now struggling with the "why" of the senselessness. They are wondering, fearfully, just what parts of their lives have changed, forever affected by an angry man who could no longer stand up to the pressures of life. One hopeless man changed the lives of thousands of people he never met.
It's the same for every community that has experienced tragedy. Perhaps we find it easier to console those hit with a natural disaster. No one seems to question "why" tornadoes, hurricanes or floods destroy lives. But when one man hurts another or many others, the "why" adds to the grief and the overall severity of the tragedy. Someone, anyone, should have seen it coming and stopped the man from killing. Realistically, the odds are not much better trying to stop a person from killing than the odds of stopping a tornado. People aren't as predictable as the weather.
This is something we all need to be aware of in these very tense and stressful times, both in ourselves and in the people around us. That one last straw that breaks the camel's back is a heavy one.
Be well, and find your moment.