It began – for me – this morning when I woke up and noticed that my iPhone had blown up with messages. “Are you okay?” “Were you close by?” “Why don’t you answer???” Uh…What?
I was a little bleary when I turned on the TV, and just when The Weather Channel glowed on the screen, another note popped up on my iPhone – 50 Dead, 300 Wounded in Las Vegas Mass Shooting. Since then, the number has grown exponentially.
I woke up immediately, and after turning to the news, everything suddenly made sense. My loved ones were concerned that just maybe I had attended a country-western concert on the Strip at 10 pm on a Sunday night. They know that I wouldn’t, but they wanted to be sure.
Ultimately, with the local news now playing in the background, I ended up going onto Facebook and Twitter and letting everyone know that I’m okay. I left a message with Mom, comforted The Wineaux Guy™ when he frantically called, and soothed my youngest son who was genuinely alarmed. The one bit of humor was my daughter’s dry reply to my “I’m Okay” message.
“I wasn’t worried because I knew it was way past your bedtime…” Yup. I had to laugh.
Needless to say, we are reeling here in Vegas. We are suddenly a part of a story that we’ve only seen on the news…one of the stories that happens “somewhere else.”
Since The Day Job™ is with one of the local government agencies, I have been posting information about updates, resources for grief counseling, and more. It’s been a little tough on me because that’s been my life all morning – writing and posting about grief and death. Despite that, I know the pain I’m feeling for the people I don’t even know can’t possibly touch what those people have gone (and will continue to go) through. My feelings are but a raindrop in the ocean of their pain.
This will be with us forever. All you have to say is “Columbine” and it brings visions of screaming children being mowed down by crazed classmates. And now, along with Columbine, the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, Pulse Nightclub, San Bernardino, and others, Las Vegas will now become a name linked to the crazies of the world whose ideas are more important than the lives they take.