Friday, April 19, 2013

7QT Dealing with Narcissism, Public Tragedy, and Grief

7QT is hosted by Grace at Camp Patton this week, while Jen enjoys her baby out of NICU

I wrote this last night~! The city of Boston is completely shut down this morning~! Please read this understanding in context

1. This past week, Justin Bieber 'In the site's guest book, (he) wrote, "Truly inspiring to be able to come here. Anne was a great girl. Hopefully she would have been a belieber." The tourist site shared the message on its official Facebook page.' -CNN News

Whatever it is, like Justin, we can always bring it back to how it would affect ourselves.

2. So when tragedy hit the Boston Marathon on Monday, everyone on social media was trying to find their personal connection. I have none. I do not know any of the victims, even though my two sister-in-laws were at the 24 and 25 mile mark, and my parents were calling to ensure that they didn't have my children with them at the bombing. My children were in the backyard, and we weren't even watching the marathon. I haven't watched it in years. My two sister-in-laws, who no longer live in Lowell, are much closely connected to Boston through college and work. Me? Not so. I'm cloistered here in my neighborhood. I rarely go beyond the adjacent towns.

3. The social media reaction reminded me of of people's reactions to Newtown, they wanted to make it personal for them and how it affected them. Reporters assigned to cover, were all over the town. The town was engulfed by the media because American needed to grieve. Instead our consumption to grieve, failed to respect the privacy of the town. Please read this entry from Rob Mill's Lowell Sun Reporter and the photos of 'the media'.

Wouldn’t you love to have to grieve with the scene that’s above on your street?

Wouldn’t you love to face something like this, but not be able to walk your dog without coming face to face with a microphone?

And lets not mix words. I was absolutely a part of this, and it made my stomach sink.

4. Last December there was a blog post over at Free Range Kids.

I realized that I could spend hours mulling over the pain of those families. I could superimpose their reality over mine, imagining what it would feel like to go through such suffering. Inevitably, I’d start to hurt as though I actually might understand what they’re going through. I’d feel sad. I’d grow anxious, worried, and depressed. I know myself. This is how I respond. The truth is, however, that I don’t understand their pain. I couldn’t possibly because it’s not my reality. Letting my mind play over the horrific happenings does me no good. It doesn’t do any good for my family, nor does it do any good for the grieving families.

5. Over 20 years ago, my brother died expectantly in a car accident. We had a large funeral, and everyone who knew the family and my brother attended. I even remember a home-made sympathy card from one of the younger neighborhood children, she gave it to me personally. Strangers didn't come to grieve, why would they?

It made the front page of the Lowell Sun, but because it was summer and he graduated, so two weeks later when school started, nothing was mentioned of my lost. I was still in middle school. But the next year, my freshman year in high school, three recent graduates died in the very same spot as my brother. I witnessed an outpouring public grief that the school must grieve as a community, and I'm like 'What?'. I didn't know what to think, in fact confused by the attention the sister of one of the deceased was getting, who happened to be in my grade. It was nice of the guidance counselor to call me into the her office that day, and ask if I was OK which at times felt like a circus of mourning. That was all I needed, and I actually appreciated that a lot.

6. "People who have never suffered the loss of a loved one tend to believe that the bereavement process has a far more destructive and devastating effect on a person compared to those who have actually suffered such a loss in the past, according to a new study by the University of Haifa's International Center for the Study of Loss, Bereavement and Human Resilience." So after twenty plus years, I can honestly say I'm not insensitive or crazy. In fact my faith, while poorly formed and lacking strong understanding at the time, helped me cope with death at a personal level.

7. Some victims of the Boston Marathon Bombing indeed are from Greater Lowell. Many people in the community were scared, and unable to make immediate contact with their loved ones at the time of the bombing. In some cases it took hours. In some cases people lost life and limbs. Yes, limbs! I, however didn't experience that.This family did, though in Lowell, and another in Chelmsford and Dracut. I do not know them. This tragedy does have an affect all of us, but I respect the victims space for privacy and need to be there for each other. Allow the law enforcement and the FBI to do their job and not seek our vengeance by many in the public who were not even personally harmed by this act of terrorism.


  1. I like what you said about grieving privately and allowing grieving families the space to do so.

    It is true that people do tend to personalize everything..and we can't do that. All we can really do is pray for those who are affected.

  2. This 7QT feels odd, those can't even grieve at right now. Even those has been put on hold.

    Not Lowell, but everything within the Boston area ten miles out.... or so. The ghost town pictures.... are definitely strange.

    Not specific to public tragedy, my mother didn't like being the one 'with the dead son'. It was a blessing, that I wasn't labeled 'that girl who lost her brother'. I