She had gone to sleep around 8:00. It was 10:00 and I wanted to wrap my arms around her and snuggle. The day was hard. I woke up to news of the mass shooting in Las Vegas. It left me feeling so devastated and helpless. The grief that the families of the victims will experience is immeasurable. Explaining tragedy to my kids is getting harder as they get older and the devastation occurs more frequently – I can’t explain it. Little pieces of my heart have been breaking all year and I just wonder how much more I can handle before I snap. Or become numb.
After an incredibly rough day in which I felt surrounded and suffocated by bad news, I had a glass of wine with dinner. A glass and a half. After nearly 11 months without wine, I felt like I needed to calm myself from the events of the day. I fed my baby right before, knowing it would be hours before she needed to eat again. I know all of the “rules” around drinking and breastfeeding. After she went to sleep though, I was hit with irrational fear and guilt. Fear that I had somehow irreparably harmed my baby and guilt that I put my needs before hers. I went on all of the websites to assure myself that everything was fine.
I went into her room and picked her up from her crib, to further console myself. I rocked her. She stayed sound asleep, with a little half-smile on her face every so often. The fears of being unable to protect my family washed over me again. How – how could I prevent a devastating tragedy like Las Vegas from affecting us? Or Orlando, or Newtown, or any of the other despicable acts of hatred and violence. It was interwoven with the fears I often carry around keeping my baby girl safe from illness or accident. I remind myself that it took two long, hard years to bring her to us, but that doesn’t make us immune from other hardship. Those lingering thoughts sometimes make it hard to move past those anxieties that I hoped would disappear after I was no longer pregnant.
Ger and I just sat and talked while I held our baby. Finally I knew that she needed to go back in her crib. I can’t make sense of senselessness. I lost my babies and it made no sense. A man shoots into a crowd of 20,000, killing 59 and wounding over 500 and I can’t make sense of that either. I mourn for myself and I mourn for the world. I am carrying so much grieving some days that it aches. I’ll borrow Lin-Manuel Miranda’s words from yesterday:
Good night. Lead with love. Get some rest. Keep going. Siempre siempre siempre keep going.