Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Trying To Make Some Sense of the World

For most of the last two days, I've been wondering whether or not to post something about what happened yesterday at Virginia Tech. The news that continues to come from Blacksburg is just unbelievably sad. It's horrifying. It's numbing.

I spent most of this morning watching the frequent reports and testimonials from the VT campus, trying to get the latest news. If I didn't already realize what a tragedy had taken place, seeing several pictures of those who'd been senselessly killed was paralyzing. Those kids look so damn young, far too young and hopeful to have their lives taken away.

A college campus should be a safe place, where someone feels free to grow, to find him or herself, to become part of a community, to learn. For so many of us, some of the best years of our lives were spent in such environments. It should never feel like a place where you'd fear for your safety. And it most certainly should not be defined by such a heartbreaking outbreak of violence.

I can't even comprehend what it must feel like to be a part of that community right now. Or to be a parent or friend of one of the victims (or even the shooter, for that matter). All I can do is try to imagine myself in such situations - as a student, a brother, or friend - and it's almost too much to bear.

Yesterday, I felt like I should just keep my feelings to myself and do what I was supposed to do. Besides, what could really be said? Everyone had seen or read the news. We all knew what had happened. On my Detroit Tigers blog, I guess I just felt like the best I could do was try to provide some escape from the real world. At least that was something to offer.

But reality and escapism heartbreakingly collided today when news circulated around the Tigers online community and blogosphere that Brian Bluhm, someone who'd been a friend and colleague to many people who follow the team (or cover it), was one of those who'd been lost in yesterday's shootings. And I just got an e-mail from the University of Iowa student newspaper that also mentioned Brian, as he was a native of Cedar Rapids, IA.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that as I'm sitting here right now, I feel like writing about this.

As unseemly as it might be to link to my other blog, I've posted links to several of the tributes to Brian that have been written. My deepest sympathies are extended to those who knew Brian. My condolences to his family, as well as to everyone who has been affected by this tragedy. No one should have to go through something like this.