Sunday, January 16, 2011

Impossibly Sad...

I had mixed feelings about writing this post. Partly because I feel as though I was an intruder – however inadvertent.

I went to the Tucson Museum of Art today. Each year I go for the Interweave Party during the Gem Shows, but rarely do I get a chance to look around. So, I set off today to examine the collection. But when I arrived, I was confronted with tear-stained cheeks and mourners dressed in black. The museum was closed for the memorial service of Gabe Zimmerman (Congresswoman Gifford's aide who was killed in the recent shooting).

After the shooting, I didn't want to go to any of the services; that it was too sad. As I walked away from the people leaving the service, I don't know what happened but my eyes started to sting with tears. I didn't know Gabe. I had no right to weep. I had no right to mourn. I walked around the empty streets of downtown Tucson, fighting back sobs.



I am not someone who cries easily. And I definitely do not show my feelings in public. I tend to keep my emotions to myself and closely guarded. It's as though the palatable grief of those I bumped into was contagious. Their raw pain rubbed off on me. It felt impossibly sad and I felt guilty for crying for someone I didn't even know.

14 comments:

Faye said...

Andrew don't feel gulity about tears shed over the loss of one you didn't know. It is compassion such as you felt and describe that embodies the good in this world.

The loss of life, ever painful, is all the more tragic when that life is stolen, pointlessly, by another.
The world is always lessened when a person who stives for betterment is lost.

To understand and to feel that truth, to weep over it, is honorable for both the one who weeps and the one who was lost....

Faye

Zoe Nelson said...

The grief may have been contagious but I know that you were feeling the senseless loss of someone during an insane, violent incident. It's sad for all of us.

BeaderBubbe said...

You were crying because you are a sensitive person. Anyone with a heart can feel for this senseless killing in our country...

Janet said...

I know it was so very sad and senseless. You have every right to cry as we all do...ox

Angie in AZ said...

knowing this about you would make you someone I would want to know in real life... not just internet life. You have a tender heart. We don't have to know someone to feel the pain of those who do know them. And, in this instance, I think even the grief of the reality of our world that such a thing could happen is enough reason to cry.

Never feel bad or apologize for being a tender, compassionate man. Never.

kate mckinnon said...

By the wave of grief and love that flowed out of that space, you did know Gabe.

He was one of the truly kind and good people, and no one like that passes unmourned, even by those who didn't know them. The very flowers and trees can feel the loss.

I would have loved to have been there, with them, and am so grateful that you somehow found yourself there.

TesoriTrovati said...

But you are human, Andrew. There is no reason to fight back emotions when something unspeakable happens, even when this unspeakable thing happens to people worlds away in lives that you didn't play a part. So sad that you had to witness this, but maybe it was so that you would write of this raw experience and remind those of us insulated by time and distance that this is still real, there is still grieving to be done and we are all connected no matter where we are.
Enjoy the day.
Erin

My Life Under the Bus said...

A life was lost ...no explaination needed - I am sure their grief was palpable - it takes you wuith it before you know what you are doing. XO

Kate said...

"Never feel bad or apologize for being a tender, compassionate man. Never."

Couldn't have said it better.

I enjoy your work (writing and arts) because of these traits you so often exhibit in so many ways. Thanks for sharing!

Jenny said...

That you would unwillingly cry over someone you didn't know, says good things about you - things we already knew. You have a good heart. People are more important to you than things.

I think we all lost something that day. In specifically targeting a member of Congress, a line was crossed. After all the rancor and mouthing off of the last few years, it felt very scary and very threatening.

thebearaffair said...

This is yet another example of your kindness and compassion, Andrew. I've followed your blogs for quite some time and am always left with a feeling of love and goodness. I am from the Tucson area and we are all stunned by the senseless act of violence and welcome your tears and love. God bless you Andrew, Sally

Kinderhook said...

Andrew, I have thought all along that you are an empath and this proves it to me. The depth of your feelings is part of your very being. Don't apologize for who you are. Be thankful for that.
This is was such a beautiful post and I wept with you.
SallyA

Cheryl's Jewelry Minute said...

It just shows your strength and dignity to have such empathy for someone you never met.

plcahill said...

Aw Andrew, it's just so human to be empathetic. Let yourself off the hook. I was tearing up during the President's eulogy, feeling so bad for all who were murdered and damaged, and for the fact that there are many, many lives that will never be the same because of this senseless act. It just shows how very interconnected with each other we all are.