I recently had a family member who was in the precise location of a mass shooting.
Luckily, although it occurred at his workplace, he wasn't working at the time, and he was perfectly safe.
But it was scary. More scary than you might guess. And now I've heard another mass shooting has happened, and while I have no reason to think someone I care about was there, I know plenty of people in the city, and it's possible I'm not too many degrees of connection away from terrible loss.
Obviously, I care, and that's what makes the worrying so unbearable, the waiting until text messages are returned so full of anxiety.
But I think the best thing we can do is refuse to be scared. Take our love and build it into hope, even if that hope is fragile.
I hope everyone I know and love is okay. Know that my love for you is not a weakness a mass murderer exploits to spread terror, but a strength, to power my hope for your safety.
I hope to hear back from everyone, and I know that, with all the secondary connections from college, and how long it's been since I checked in with some old friends, I won't hear back from some of them. Maybe not even most.
But I hope for them to be okay regardless, and my reaching out is not for myself, to satisfy my anxiety, not anymore. It's merely to offer those moments of hope and grace for people in strange times, so close to danger. Worrying for them isn't selfish, but, it is not what we ought to do.