I’ve read recently about how some people somehow feel a lack of connection with the mass-shooting deaths and injuries at that club (Pulse) in Orlando.
Now, I don’t see these people as mean/bad/terrible, not really, not at heart. It could be that they’re suffering from “disaster fatigue” or “compassion fatigue”, and with so many mass shootings being allowed to happen in America, I can certainly understand where they’re coming from.
It might be that they don’t personally know anyone “in that community”, meaning the non-straight community. I can kind of see that – if you’re not family or friends with someone in a marginalized group of people, the trials and tribulations they have to endure on a daily basis just don’t quite hit home with you, therefore you wouldn’t necessarily feel a meaningful (emotional) connection when preventable tragedies like this occur.
It might be that the disconnected are so terrified of some mythical MIBs bounding up to their door to “steal their guns” that they pretty much believe that any deaths are acceptable losses so long as they get to keep their precious automatic/semi-automatic/assault rifles/whatever name people use for guns capable of quick mass murder. My rose-colored glasses want to believe that these people really are not as cold-hearted and illogical as they seem to be, but I honestly don’t know. (If you’re part of this faction, please unfollow me.)
And then you have the people who, whether at the heart or on the fringes, used to be a part of that stricken community, people who were besties and shoulders to cry on, people who would gladly dance the night away to celebrate the successes of someone in that marginalized group, who would sob and hug and drink till daylight comes to ease the horrors of daily life with the affected. People…people who can’t be there now, who can’t hug and be held, who can’t cry on and be cried on, people who grew physically distant because of life and jobs and the acquiring of other dreams that took them thousands of miles away…and so they grew away from the heart that beat so strongly. A natural feeling of disconnect will seep in – especially in times like this, and in a weird way that makes the loss even worse for them.
For the most part, I think this weird feeling of being disconnected from the ever-increasing number of tragedies has more to do with just how big America is – from sea to rising sea. This didn’t happen in YOUR neighborhood. This likely wasn’t even in your STATE.
You’re not close enough to smell the blood or see the intestines scattered across the bloody floor. The brain matter slowly oozing down the wall probably didn’t belong to “one of yours”, the spilled contents of some woman’s purse are meaningless to you, the unanswered phone ringing in the dead man’s pocket isn’t your call going eternally unanswered.
Thing is, these deaths ARE meaningful to someone. Moms and dads lost their daughters and sons, cousins lost cousins, brothers and sisters lost brothers and sisters, and sometimes, daughters and sons lost their moms and dads.
Friends lost friends.
I wish I had the dubious luxury of feeling that disconnect, but these people were sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, cousins, and yeah, moms and probably some dads, too.
And best friends.
More than that, though, every single person murdered was the living embodiment of hopes and dreams, hard work and play, fun, sweat, tears, love, loss, success.
That…I can’t disconnect from. Did I personally know anyone “over there”? No, but…no matter how commonplace these senseless, meaningless, preventable tragedies have become, when people die, dreams die, love dies, and hope dies.
And that does affect us all.
Thank you for reading.