The third anniversary of the Pulse nightclub tragedy snuck up on me, much like the impact of the event itself. You see, I had other things on my mind that day.
Just hours after reading the first headlines about the tragedy on social media, we hosted our closest friends and family for a gender reveal and found out that our first-born would be a little baby boy.
I was 20-something weeks pregnant and preoccupied with my own good fortune.
At the time, I felt horrible once I learned the true impact of what went on that day while we were celebrating. Maybe I needed to shield myself from the stark reality at the time. Maybe I was a little desensitized because, let’s face it, tragic shootings are becoming too much of the norm these days (but that’s another rant for another post).
In any case, I tell myself that we are allowed to react and grieve however we want. Not feeling is okay.
In a way, the events of that day are a reminder to me that sometimes great happiness and hopeless sorrow are inevitably married together in our lives. We can’t always extract where one begins and another ends. Kind of like the rainbow after the storm.
As my son gets older, I won’t hide the fact that that day is wrapped up in our preparations and celebrations for his birth.
I’ll be honest: as we prepared to welcome you into the world, 49 other mothers prepared to bury their babies.
That sobering thought is a reminder that life is extremely precious, and that each and every one of us is somebody’s precious little baby. And that, maybe, will remind him that we’re all worthy of compassion.