...and sometimes there's a trigger.
It's been nearly 2 months since that awful day at RHS. In that time, I've dealt with my feelings - feelings of fear, guilt, shame, gratitude...so many feelings, all rolled up into one big jumbled mess. The biggest thing I've had to deal with is survivor's guilt or, more aptly, "I was never in any danger so why the heck do I feel like this?" guilt.
I've been in the building many times this summer. Going inside was not a huge deal. My room is back to normal, I've seen my kids and had great times with them (we won a prize for our entry in the parade!) and in general life is back to normal.
And then, when you least expect it...
Ricky and I like to choose a show to watch together. Because of our crazy, erratic work schedules, it's easiest if we choose something we can watch online on our own timeline. Recently we started watching Six Feet Under. Tonight we started season 3.
The show is the story of the Fisher family, who own and operate a funeral home. Each episode starts with the death of someone who will then be taken to Fisher and Sons funeral home for embalming, viewing, funeral, - whatever the family wishes. Each episode chronicles that particular family, deceased and death and how it's affecting the members of the family. It's pretty brilliant, actually.
But season 3...well, episode 2 of season 3 starts with deaths caused by a shooting in a workplace, similar to what we went through. I made it through that part though I had to focus on my breathing, but I did make it.
Later, two of the funeral directors were meeting with the family. When one funeral director realized that they were meeting with the family of the shooter, he started to refuse to have the funeral there. Later, talking with the other funeral director, he said "maybe if they had raised him better...."
And with that, I said, "I can't." I can't watch this anymore, I can't handle it, I just can't.
It wasn't just the attitude. The entire thing was bringing back everything we went through. How awful the media was, how they lied to parents, saying they were the FBI, in an attempt to get the kids' phone numbers. How they interviewed our kids, who were clearly in shock. How they stood across the street, because they weren't allowed inside the church, and took paparazzi-esque photos of my students, my babies, in tears as they entered the funeral of their friend. How Oregon Live - yes, I'm calling you out - LIVE TWEETED the funeral of one of our students.
The disrespect, the inability to grieve in peace...it all came back in that instant. That they got their information from Twitter when they couldn't get information any other way because we all sat in lockdown. That a news person out of New York called the spouse of one of our administrators and lied about being the police so that he could call the administrator and try to interview that person while most of our school was still locked inside a building.
I get that the world wants news. I understand that. You all wanted answers. So did we. But really, after it's all said and done, isn't it enough? Can't you just leave us alone??