“I’m sorry.’ The two most inadequate words in the English language.” » Beth Revis
What is wrong with me?
I have barely commented on the abject tragedy and senseless loss of 22 precious lives (excluding the murderer) that occurred this past weekend in our Canadian province of Nova Scotia. Have I even posted a single news article on that? Have I reached out to an old university friend who lives in Halifax? How much space does it even occupy in my consciousness? Have I even adequately grieved for the loss of life for my fellow Canadians?
It is not like I am absent from current events. I am one of those self-labeled (oh how I hate labels) “news junkies” and I have always taken time to be aware of geopolitical events because it is very much who I am. I engross myself in politics including a cross-section of sociological and ecological affairs including both the good and the bad. And for those of you who have seen any of my social media posts during and since the massacre in Nova Scotia, you know I have been posting articles and opinions on everything from COVID-19, the stock markets, fear and recently a piece on how to overcome sadness during isolation. Of course, I have opined on Trump and his incoherent Dear Leader rants from his daily and useless press conferences. But virtually nothing on the Nova Scotia massacre. I repeat, what is wrong with me?
I was shaken to my core after the Danforth shooting (here in my city of Toronto) which killed two innocents in July 2018. I rode my bike down to the scene of the murders a few days later to more thoroughly absorb that tragedy.
I was horrified and incensed in April 2018 when the Toronto van attack occurred and killed 10 people.
The Parliament Hill shooting of October 2014 in Ottawa, our nation’s capital, killed Corporal Nathan Cirillo and I was mortified by the Corporal’s pointless death. I praised our national hero Ken Vickers who valiantly ended that attack along with other authorities.
It was before social media, but I vividly recall the horror of what transpired at Montreal’s École Polytechnique in December 1989, brutally killing 14 women in a vicious misogynistically motivated mass murder. Several years later as the father of three daughters, this tragedy hit home for me even more as it does every memorial anniversary of this attack.
I know what is different and I do not need to spell that out for you. I am preoccupied as are we all. I have a whole host of fears just like you and my mind is imagining many contrasting scenarios of what this all could mean to me – to all of us.
The other day I was speaking with a friend about my guilt over this. I mentioned that we humans have an unlimited capacity for love, or so we have been told. If we are blessed to have children, we love each one and do not run out of love if another and another come along. And when grandchildren arrive in our family, lo and behold, we have more love to give to them without diminishing the love that we already hold within our hearts for family and friends that were here before. But what of fear? What about grief? For this do we have unlimited capacity as well?
That is the proverbial million-dollar question. The answer may be no, we do not. We are operating on sensory overload during these unprecedented times. I might not be the only one who has fallen to the same malady as there are undoubtedly more who harbor the same guilt as do I.
I can only conclude that LOVE is more powerful than fear, and LOVE is the most potent of feelings and emotions. We continue to do good deeds through love even as we ourselves are in need. We have the power of love to care for the sick when in fact our health is inferior. At our breaking point, love propels us to dig even deeper to care for our loved ones. In despair, we protect those closest to us at the cost of our own peril because of the love we possess for them.
So why was my love for my fellow Canadians in Nova Scotia not enough? Maybe it was. Perhaps my love spirited me to dig a little deeper and has driven me to write this. That love has enabled me to acknowledge my error, my lapse in judgement, because perhaps I was in a rough place for a couple of days.
I am so sorry Nova Scotia. I am deeply sorry for your tragedy. I wish a speedy and complete recovery to the injured, my condolences to the families and dear friends of the deceased, and may all those innocents who perished, rest in peace.