When I woke to the news of the mass shooting in Las Vegas at the Route 91 Harvest music festival, my heart sank, broke, sank again and broke even more.
Country music is my favourite. In fact, we tried to get tickets to this sold out festival, as many of my favourite artists were lined up to preform. Plus, who doesn’t love a good trip to Vegas right?
But all that excitement pales in comparison to the heartache I feel for the good timing, country music listening folks like me, who were at the festival. The fear they must have felt… the confusion and chaos that surrounded them… the loss of friends, family members and innocent people…
I do want to fall back on the theory and idea that love wins and will always win. That we need not give into the experience of fear and hatred that was forced upon us. But right now, it almost doesn’t feel like the right time to say that.
Is it a band-aid for how we are feeling? Or is it a truth we can truly fall back on and live our lives grounded in?
I do believe it is a truth to live by but first, we – or at least I – need to just feel and be with the pain and sadness.
There are real emotions here to be felt. Nothing to rush through. To feel them and be authentically with them is to really honour the lives that were lost. To rush through that is to make light of what was loss. Honour these people by feeling their absence. By feeling and being with their loved ones in the pain
I know that there are families and groups of friends that will never be the same again. And that, I wish I could change. I cannot imagine the pain and the sadness that they are experiencing.
But if we cannot take the pain away for them, what can we do? How can we collectively work together to soften heartache, quiet fear and honour emptiness?
There are no magic quick fixes.
But if you are in the Las Vegas area, I urge you to go donate blood. This isn’t going to change what happened but it can change the outcome for some of the injured.
Doing something is better than doing nothing.
I urge you to look around if you are there, and hug the stranger who looks lost. Hold each other tight.
Whether you are in Vegas or not, I urge you to consciously make choices that are rooted in love and compassion, not fear and anger. Know that what you are doing might not have long lasting affects to change the world, but I hope you do it anyway, simply because it is the right thing to do.
Let love prevail. Feel your sadness but never give into hate.
“The is precisely the time when artists go to work. There is no time for despair, no place for self pity, no need for silence, no room for fear. We speak, we write, we do language. That is how civilizations heal.” ~ Toni Morrison
Sending love, peace and healing vibes…