Other People. Not Us.

I will not tell you her name, but this woman that I know (as in this was not something I read in the newspaper) lost two sons to hang gliding! There are few words to describe the unconscionable sorrow. What? You lost one? Then another? What were they thinking?

What could they think? There are no words. Well, there are words, but they are the sad words — the grief words, the loss words that are colored black, gray and brown. They are the depressing shades of all of them: mineshaft black, grunge gray, bad-hair-dye brown. They’re not happy colors you would put on the walls

We have two sons. I cannot fathom, nor imagine these things that happen to other people. These events crawl through newspapers and seep out of the lips of media mouths.

Other people. Not us.

It did enter our neighborhood and came down our street, but it didn’t come in our door. A distanced ex-sister-in-law had a daughter from her first marriage (and it could have been us, had they still been married, but they weren’t). This young woman shot herself over some boy she thought she was in love with.

Other people. Not us.

My matron of honor’s brother committed suicide.

Other people. Not us.

One of our son’s Boy Scout friends committed suicide. I knew his mom and dad and brother. The funeral service filled the community’s church. We were all there to mourn, but perhaps to be glad that it wasn’t us. Did I say that?

Other people. Not Us.

We read the newspapers, watch the evening news, listen to morning radio. We learn of the mayhem, floods, bombings, accidents, earthquakes, shootings, tornados and destruction. We exhale. Because just for today. For this moment. For now it’s …

Other people. Not us.


Author: Kathryn Atkins

I write to live. I live to write and have recently published a literary collection, "Giving My Self to the Wind." I am a Huffington Post blogger and LinkedIn contributor. I play the piano by ear, I do Yoga, love TED talks, read a lot, and dance Flamenco. Married with grown children, I'm on my second or third self.

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