"Writing itself becomes the subject of the writing course..."

 — Michael Carter       

On the Latest News of Our Mortality

July 21st, 2012 by

My first reaction to learning that twelve people had been murdered while watching a Batman movie at a theatre in Aurora, Colorado, was not to write a blog. I felt at a loss. The subject I actually wrote on and was going to post for today, which turned out to be the day after the tragedy, was on the dubious nature of general writing advice. But this just seemed inappropriate. And taking this as an opportunity to expound on the social problems that led to this most recent tragedy seemed downright cold. So instead of all this, I offer this, a few words for those who have lost someone in the violence.

Like most, my reaction to the violence (overseas, the main equivalent would be terrorist attacks) is always shock and then sadness. I have lost family members and friends to car accidents and random violence, and I think about what the living relatives of those lost must be going through.

So I write this for them.

The endless TV punditry is going to again render unreal what has happened. I will stop watching it. I recommend that we all turn it off. What happened is very real. It matters and should not be lessened by vain repetition.

For those who have lost someone yesterday, may they some day know beauty for ashes.

It doesn’t come over-night.

May we all pay a little closer attention to the people we know, to the people around us.

Posted in grief, Loss, mortality| 4 Comments


Comment by Sue Tornai on July 22, 2012 at 1:53 pm

Thank you for your passion, Dr. Allbaugh. I agree with you that the media overkills on the coverage of tragedies. I, too, will not watch it on TV, but I am praying for those with loss. Beauty for ashes, yes. God’s love in the place of fear.

Comment by Thomas Allbaugh on July 22, 2012 at 2:26 pm

Thanks, Sue. I believe there are many of us who will turn off the TV and understand that real people have been lost and are suffering.

Comment by Elena E Smith on July 23, 2012 at 9:37 am

Yes, I agree with turning off the news coverage. Although there was a terrible tragedy, it seldom seems that the tragedy is treated for what it is. Instead, we seem to have a news media that is intent on horrifying us all about our life’s conditions. Prayer for the victims and survivors is the best push-back against this drama-soaked media.

Comment by Thomas Allbaugh on July 23, 2012 at 9:42 am

Elena, I agree with you. It seems the tragedy is lost in the repetition, which, I think, renders the horrible event less real, not more. Thanks.

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