We are not immortal.
I’m young. I spend my days focusing on homework and friendships and the job hunt. I am told to think of the future, to decide my post-secondary education and my career and my income. That’s what high school is all about– not learning, but getting ready for the future. Growing up in this mindset, it’s easy to unconsciously think that I will reach that future, that I am an immortal being destined to accomplish everything I’ve planned and longed for.
So when something like this happens and young lives are taken away, it’s startling. It’s like being splashed with cold water– “wake up!!” –and you’ve got to sit there trying to get a breath. You become disoriented. You lose focus on the world. And it hurts. It hurts like crazy.
It’s not only the lives that were taken too early. It stings for another reason. You hear this news and you’ve got to deal with it, whether you knew them or not, and you’ve still got to focus on school and everything else that doesn’t really matter. You’ve got to pretend that you haven’t had a wake-up call, that you now remember that most of this is pointless.
I definitely do not feel the worst of this pain. I didn’t know them very well. And yet despite that, it still hurts. It hurts because life has value and we forget that so often. We forget that we are mortal beings.

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