The air around me felt thick as I raced to a television to turn on the news. At the sight of the familiar intersection of Shady and Wilkins, made strange by police tape and news cameras, I burst into tears. Dizzy, my limbs suddenly impossibly heavy, I collapsed into a chair in my Point Breeze living room and focused on my breath.
My head has ached almost nonstop since the moment I heard the words, “active shooter situation” at Tree of Life. Every soft tissue of my body seems to articulate grief. The emotional and physical pain has persisted, even after I learned I wasn’t personally acquainted with any of the people murdered. At first, I was at a loss to explain the intensity of my grief.
For the first 20 years of my life, I tried to avoid experiencing sadness, grief and anger, thinking I could push away or bury my pain. Once I realized this was a doomed errand and finally took a serious look at everything I was holding inside myself, I began to think it might not all be mine.
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