It's that moment when suddenly you're faced with your worst nightmare becoming a reality. Except it's worse than your worst nightmare, because you never could have imagined it happening to you. And then the 'what if's' and 'should'ves' 'could'ves,' and 'if onlys' flood in. And you find yourself screaming to the ceiling trying to escape your own reality. Your body tries to flee from itself and its this harrowing, hollow and yet suffocating feeling. It's like trying to swallow tears, only the lump is larger than anything you could imagine.
And that's just the beginning. After the worst has happened you realize the worst does happen, and does indeed to you, not just to those people you hear about on television. In the aftermath of having the worst happened, after your grief has subsided, you begin to share everyone else's worst. A tragedy on the news and you become that mother, father, son, daughter who lost suddenly. Who was unable to protect or change the fate of their loved ones. And you are grieving beside them.
I can't separate myself from the recent tragedy in Nice. I feel their grief, their helplessness in trying to help their family members, unable to save them from death, injury, pain. I feel their hollow, aching heart. I see the ghosts of innocence, hurt and abandoned. And I am stunned, agony stricken and sickened. The road of grieving is long and tortuous, and once you've been on it and have paved the way for someone else, you become the roads shoulder, never leaving its path.
What seemed to be a very typical, friendly event turned completely upside down for those people. Everything can change in an instant. Before, I would hear that; "everything can change in an instant, live in the present, etc. etc.," and I would listen for a quick moment, nod my head and quickly move on to other things; that's not going to happen to Me. Now, I know. I know what that instant feels like; how helplessness strangles you and your memories become shadows. I know it to its deepest. It's ugliest. I know it's stillness. And I know its most beautiful, because today and everyday, I smile at this moment. Because this moment is not that one.