It's been a rough week, gentle readers. This past Sunday, as I'm sure you've all heard by now, there was a mass shooting in the city of Orlando. Over fifty people were killed by a madman.
There's been a lot of talk about this over the last few days. Some people are saying this is the reason firearms should be banned in the U.S.A. Others are saying that the shooter was mad/sexually confused/a terrorist. And some individuals (I refuse to refer to them as people) have exulted in the deaths; they've made jokes and posted hate-videos on YouTube.
Recently, death has been a big part of my life. One of my best friends passed away after a lengthy battle with cancer. Ever since then, it's felt like I've been haunted by the spectre of death. Every time I turn on a television or go to a news site online, I was bombarded by images and stories of death.
Then Orlando happens and death looms large. It fills the metaphysical horizon and all you want to do is pull the covers over your head and wait for it to go away.
But death doesn't go away.
Trying to ignore it doesn't work.
You can't tune it out.
You have to face it.
I feel so sorry for the victims of the Orlando shooting, the ones who died and the ones struggling to recover, the families and friends having to deal with this in the media spotlight, the first responders who arrived on the scene. I cannot begin to imagine how awful this must be for them. Most of us grieve in private; these people are grieving while on the world's stage. And the world, gentle readers, is not always kind.
But, sometimes, the world surprises you.
Since the shooting, there's been a huge outpouring of support and sympathy for the victims and their city. The voices of the kind have overwhelmed the voices of the hateful.
I take solace in that, and, hopefully, the people of Orlando do as well.