Reflecting on Tragedy
I was heading to my favorite coffee shop just after dawn Friday, when I turned on NPR and heard the news of the horrific attack inside an Aurora movie theater overnight. I could hardly fathom what those moments must have been like for the people packed inside Theater 9. The thrill of being among the first in the nation to experience the latest installment of the Batman movies turned to mass confusion as they tried to momentarily grasp whether the monster at the front of the room was part of a stunt… and the terror as they began to comprehend the horrible reality. I – like many in Colorado and around the country – was overwhelmed. I had to turn the radio off. All day. I knew that if I engaged in the coverage, the grief would overtake me and it eventually did.
After dinner, I went into our room, shut the door to protect my young girls from the news and watched… and cried. I was struck by the fact that I used to be a reporter, out on the front line reporting every precious fact I could get my hands on. I was passionate about funneling first-hand accounts and details responsibly to viewers when they needed information. Much as I love that chapter of my life, I know that I couldn’t do that now. It’s as though a new, more vulnerable chamber of my heart opened up when my girls were born, and I no longer have the ability to separate emotion from events. These days, I can hardly watch the Nightly News without choking up with the sadness, the inspiration, the common bonds each newscast holds. I often too wonder what kind of world we are leaving our children and sometimes, like Friday, July 20th… it scares me.
I can’t even begin to express my gratitude and admiration for those anchors, reporters and photojournalists who could maintain their composure on a day of such tremendous grief to report the news. I know that they will deal with the events of that day for years to come. There are news events that become a part of you… and this was surely one of them. I am awed by the presence of mind, the bravery and sheer heroism of our first-responders. I have never fully understood how these police officers, firefighters and paramedics can rush into the most dangerous of situations without regard for their own safety. It takes a special person to devote their life to service in such a way.
And so, the sun rises again… as it always does no matter what the previous day held. Though my eyes are swollen with the grief this moment holds and the innocence it steals from something as everyday as going to a movie, I think of what I need to do this day. I have scripts to write, videos to produce, children to care for. I think of the important and inspirational work our Clients do in this community and beyond… and what a joy it is for me to share their work. Good things happen around us and to us every single day. People choose love and giving over hatred. We are now privileged as a company to share those stories. We can’t take back this tragedy, but we can move forward as a collective community… we can choose to be kind, to be at peace, to help others and to embrace those moments of joy in our daily lives. Now, excuse me while I go hug my kids.