Much has been said since Friday about the horrific mass murder that took place here in Aurora. Many people have written eloquent words in an attempt to frame their emotions at a time of such loss. I have no words. Because the words of Jessica Redfield (Gwahi) keep rambling in my mind haunting me in a way that is quite unexplainable.
She writes on her blog on June 5th:
I can’t get this odd feeling out of my chest. This empty, almost sickening feeling won’t go away. I noticed this feeling when I was in the Eaton Center in Toronto just seconds before someone opened fire in the food court. An odd feeling which led me to go outside and unknowingly out of harm‘s way. It’s hard for me to wrap my mind around how a weird feeling saved me from being in the middle of a deadly shooting.
She shared this on a blog it appears she hadn’t touched in 10 months. Her brush in almost being in the center of a shooting moved her to a place she felt she needed to write. I know that place well. So many of my posts write themselves. They come to me as things I simply have to write and stick with me until I do. It doesn’t matter who reads it, but I have to put it out there. Like this one, which ironically enough I wrote a version of last night that disappeared into the great internet abyss instead of publishing. I took it as a sign but today it won’t leave me alone. She won’t leave me alone. A early 20 something girl I have never met yet identify so closely with.
After describing the events she witnessed that day she goes on to say:
I was shown how fragile life was on Saturday. I saw the terror on bystanders’ faces. I saw the victims of a senseless crime. I saw lives change. I was reminded that we don’t know when or where our time on Earth will end. When or where we will breathe our last breath. For one man, it was in the middle of a busy food court on a Saturday evening.
I say all the time that every moment we have to live our life is a blessing. So often I have found myself taking it for granted. Every hug from a family member. Every laugh we share with friends. Even the times of solitude are all blessings. Every second of every day is a gift. After Saturday evening, I know I truly understand how blessed I am for each second I am given.
I feel like I am overreacting about what I experienced. But I can’t help but be thankful for whatever caused me to make the choices that I made that day. My mind keeps replaying what I saw over in my head. I hope the victims make a full recovery. I wish I could shake this odd feeling from my chest. The feeling that’s reminding me how blessed I am. The same feeling that made me leave the Eaton Center. The feeling that may have potentially saved my life.
As she says, none of us know when or where we will take our last breath. Her time came less than an hour after tweeting how excited she was to see the Dark Knight Rises. Yet something in her made her publish that chilling story weeks earlier.
I may have never met Jessica but I have heard her words and listened to her story. And am grateful that she had a place to share them. What a huge blessing to have a way for her voice to go on and offer words of love and wisdom to her friends, family and community that are so in need of peace right now.
Jessica has shown me what a gift writing can be. It doesn’t matter how good or bad I am at it, or how many comma’s are out of place. What matters is that I honor those posts that have to be written. That I yield to that odd feeling I so often get as well. That I realize what a blessing it is to be able to have others hear my voice and listen to my stories.