Thursday, December 6, 2007

Full Of Broken Thoughts

"Now I will be famous." So wrote Robert Hawkins before he entered the Westroads Mall in Omaha, Nebraska, gunning down eight people before killing himself.

Stop me if you've heard this one before.

If I were in a strictly cynical mood, I'd say that this was the perfect capper to an absolutely shitty week for my family. But within my deep sadness and grief, there is numbness, for we all know this will happen again. And again. God knows how many times again.

As clichéd as it may sound, I know how those families in Omaha are feeling today. Their lives are altered forever, and they're asking questions that have no real answers.

Bad human wiring. A twisted, violent, war-friendly culture. Firearms spread far and wide. Take your pick. Add your own. Mix and match. Your results may vary, but not by much. America is a fucked up consumerist fantasy zoo, its large screens and Dolby Digital Surround EX speakers blasting happy, flattering images and sounds, trying to keep the inmates docile, fat, and unaware, most times succeeding, sometimes not, depending on one's ability or desire to look past the bullshit.

If that's too simplistic and bleak an assessment, well fuck it then, because I'm feeling simplistic and bleak. And as bad as I feel, I cannot imagine what's going through my brother Jeff and my nephew Jeffy. I spent the last few days watching them wrestle with their anguish; and while they were surrounded by family and friends, they were in their own dark space, far away from any of us. What can you do? Hold them, kiss them, tell them that you love them, tell them jokes, do impressions, sing, dance, trip over the ottoman, whatever you can muster, but in the end, they are the ones on the front line, and now their lives have brutally changed. I wish I were wise enough to better understand all this, but I'm not. All I can do is show my love and support and trust that it reaches them.

Heartfelt thanks to all of you who sent condolences on behalf of my family. It means a lot.

The wife weighs in on Holly and the funeral service.