Two Teens And Their Mama: Ninety Days

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Ninety Days


This weekend will mark ninety days since the horrible school shooting that happened in my little town of Marysville, Washington.  And I worry.

On the surface, things seem to be getting back to normal.

The only young person to survive the shooting is home and recovering, although he has a long road of surgeries and rehab to endure.

The massive memorial fence outside the school was taken down, with the help of students, parents and community members.  There have been many town meetings and discussions about what to do with the cafeteria where the shooting occurred.  For now it is closed, and students eat in the gym.



Several benefit concerts, church memorials, and candlelight vigils have taken place. Both high schools have had grief counselors, therapy dogs roaming the halls, and assemblies on depression and how to recognize suicidal thoughts.

And yet, nothing is normal.  The scars remain, and the tiny bit of healing that has taken place is all on the surface.  Everyone is so tentative, still unsure of what to say or do. The tension in town is palpable.  Last week there was a bomb threat at the school, and the news media sent out helicopters.  Just hearing them hovering overhead sent many students right back to that traumatic place.  Every time I hear sirens I tense up.

Last month, the mother of the lone survivor, herself a Tulalip Tribes member, gave an interview to the local paper, where she called out the leadership of the Tribe for sweeping the situation under the rug.  She is angry that the shooter has been given so much sympathy, and that we have all been asked to forgive his actions.  She wonders why there has been no apology from the Tribe or his family - only silence.

After the article was published, I held my breath, waiting to see what would happen, or if people would finally start talking.  Really talking, about the real issues.  But sadly, nothing.

Recently, a friend of my son wrote a very touching blog post about her attempts to find some closure.  All of it broke my heart, but especially this:

      "it seems like things are almost worse than ever....behind closed doors, that is.
        I think all of us realize it, but think we are too crazy to actually believe that
       MAYBE it is acceptable for us to still be in pain.  Teachers avoid the subject
         because it's uncomfortable and parents avoid it because they don't know
            what to say.  Everyone avoids it because they think they are alone.

               I am asking this for myself and my peers at Marysville-Pilchuck:
                                          please, someone, say something.

        Say something besides 'It's time to get back to work!  We have tests in May!'
            Say something besides 'We have to move on' or 'You'll get through it.'
   We need to hear, 'It's ok to not be ok right now', because a lot of us don't think it is."

I know that healing will take time.  No one - not the students, the teachers, the parents or the community - can be expected to feel normal after only ninety days.

Still, I worry.....

23 comments:

  1. It was such a tragic event, it's going to take a long time to heal. I'm sure it's so difficult to talk about but he's right, someone needs to say something to help them get through it. Praying for your community!

    Jill
    Doused In Pink

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Jill. We're going to all have to talk about it sooner or later.

      Delete
  2. I have no idea how to come back from something this tragic. Saying a prayer for your community.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much - we need lots of them!

      Delete
  3. I can imagine your worry and the painful truth that there is no answer. Nothing can take you back to the 'day before' and unfortunately nothing will ever be the same. I think that time though may make it not so fresh, not so under the surface but it won't fix anything and until we start having real conversations on how to do that there will be another tragedy in another small town in another school district. We are going to have to do something the question then becomes what.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So many conversations need to happen. Hopefully in time.

      Delete
  4. Yes, it will take a long time to heal after that. Your community is in my thoughts.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I totally agree that 90 days is no where near enough time to be healed from something so tragic, I also believe people should talk about it, bottling things up inside never ever helps and children should have the freedom to discuss how they are feeling...It is tragic, I hope the conversations start, so the healing can

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. These poor kids keep trying to talk, and many people are shutting them up. Something needs to change.

      Delete
  6. It is going to take time to heal...of course...but talking about it is part of the healing. Such a tragedy...
    Nora
    www.jacketsociety.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, talking is really the most important thing at this point.

      Delete
  7. This is heartbreaking. There's just way too many of these tragedies these days and it saddens and angers me at the same time. Moving on manifests differently to different people. But you're right. Something as painful, as deep and as traumatic as this can't be healed in 90 days. My prayers are with you and your community. xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  8. My heart just goes out to all of you. I cannot even imagine what everyone is going through. There is an innocence that is gone, and not just for the kids, but the parents, too. You can never go back to what it was like before, all you can do is figure out how to move forward again. Hugs and prayers to all of you. xo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. Moving forward is the key, but these poor kids need to talk to be able to do that, I think.

      Delete
  9. I've come back to this page three times to leave a comment, and each time have had to think some more. There just aren't words for this. Your son's friends blog post shows that conversations are still needed though, even if people don't know what to say. There is no timeline for grief, but 90 days still seems pretty raw.
    I hope your son's friend continues to write. I read her blog post, and it is clear she has some talent. Hopefully the article she wrote will help other kids feeling the same way, and has been a good step in her own healing.
    Your thoughts here are important Lana. I hope your community begins to talk.

    ReplyDelete
  10. 90 days is not long enough to heal to feel relaxed, safe again. High School kids are a bag of emotions and this is something, death and shootings, that is very adult and very difficult. I hope the school and the community realize more has to be done.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So do I - I've talked to counselors at the school, but so far things have stayed the same.

      Delete
  11. Grief and fear have no timeline..
    I'm sad that more people aren't talking. I'm glad you are.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Tamara. I'm going to keep talking and hope eventually somebody else listens to me!

      Delete

Reading your comments is one of the best parts of blogging! I read and appreciate them all!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...