There are no real answers in tragedy. The nature of tragedy is that it is unexpected; it is something that creeps up on us when we’re not paying attention. One moment we are living and breathing and thriving. The next, we are in pain. Whether it is a sudden heartbreak, a bewildering loss of something important, a sudden death; we are left wondering. Tragedy strikes; it wastes no time, and you are not composed and you are not prepared. There are no warnings.
The city of Boston experienced the tragedy of bombings today. Runners experienced the tragedy of bombings today. Families and friends experienced the tragedy of bombings today. Many of us sat and watched from afar and we wondered. We were struck, we were speechless, and we were saddened. We were reminded of the capacity for evil and we were reminded of our own mortality.
If you had friends like I did, perhaps you called and texted and made sure they were okay. The nature of our humanity is that we preserve those who we love first. You were grateful that no harm had come to your loved ones. But you were reminded that other people, like you, had loved ones who were hurt, perhaps even worse. But you are still grateful; the tragedy of tragedy is that you are thankful that it wasn’t you. Still, we all begin to wonder.
We begin to wonder about everything. Why did this happen? Why would someone, decide that in that place, and at that time, they would cause pain in this way? Why would anyone want innocent people harmed? Who did this? What led them to do this? Was this random or intentional? Will this start a pattern of events? Why him and her? Should I be afraid? You wonder some more.
Tragedy is a lot of things. Among these things, it will have us questioning everything from the event that took place to our temporary participation on this earth. We want answers and we want explanations. But this is tragedy; there are no real answers especially not straight away, and none that will keep you from confronting the reality of how temporary everything in life is. So go to bed. But before you do, tell everyone that you love, that you love them. And wake up tomorrow with a desire to live your life like it matters. And don’t let cowards or fear or tragedy keep you from doing just that – you, who is by no ordinary miracle, still alive.