…insulation. It is a sort of temporary relief, at best, but the pain returns. Stinging, tingling, nerve endings shooting messages across revived synapses.
Paralysis. Blindness, self-induced or the reaction to tragedy one’s mind cannot process; not all at once. Temporary. Some images won’t be erased. They won’t remain, locked in some file, some separate place. No. This file must be filled with better images.
Time. There is the split second before any loud, harsh sound hits, before our mind can identify what it is and what to do. There is the wave, softer, a cushion perhaps, just ahead of the wave that no one can stand against, the one that will push you back, knock you down, roll you, hold you down. Energy, greater forces. Irresistible.
“I… I have some really bad news…”
Dot dot dot.
Not enough time, not enough of a cushion. Impact.
Eventually the wave will release you. Time. Not yet. You’re still caught in the swirl, still holding onto disbelief, some hope that this isn’t real. Nightmares fade, the details drop away, they don’t make sense when we try to retell, or even remember them.
It takes longer for reality. disbelief. Numbness. Paralysis. then anger. So much anger, thrown in all directions. All directions.
Time. Hope. If there is a reason and a plan we cannot comprehend, then… No, even then, the anger must be hurled back at whatever or whoever. No. This was a mistake in the plot. This wasn’t right.
No. No. No.
No, we don’t get to write the script. Bad people would suffer, young people wouldn’t die.
Time. Time. Time.
Knowing they can’t offer more than words and thoughts, friends want, desperately, to relieve some of your suffering. Perhaps a word by someone searching for the right words, when there are none, perhaps a wave of truly-felt condolence will relieve a portion of the pain.
Perhaps. That is the hope. But the pain will be real, full force, and you will endure it.
You will look to the horizon, the waves forming, you will feel the warmth of the earth and sky, step back into the water, open the file, now over-filled with snapshots of a life too-short.
You will no longer be numb. Not in that moment. In that moment.
Time. All wounds. Memories. Love. We throw out prayers in all directions.