At 3:50 in the morning last Tuesday I was woken up by an alert on my phone. The rain pounded down so loud that I was shaking, but we were in a safe place and I finally went back to sleep. Because of the Thomas fire we’ve been getting these kind of alerts for a long time now and I had no idea of the terrible mudslide that was happening just seven miles from our house.
The next day I would learn of the horrible tragedy in Montecito.
It’s hard to grasp. I’ve read the stories and looked at the pictures, but I still can’t fathom it.
Thinking about families torn apart and children suffering is the hardest to swallow. It feels wrong that I even have the option to stop thinking about it when so many in my community don’t have that luxury. I can’t fathom the grief, the terror, the pain.
That night when I walked into Trader Joes to get groceries I had a second where I thought is this a dream? And then another few where I honestly thought it might be. Everything in me prayed that it could be a nightmare we’d all wake up from.
But it isn’t, and my community’s pain is reality.
An old man at the Mexican restaurant down the street told me in broken english that it was so good to see me out with my kids, that his heart needed to see that, and our community needed to see that. “Pray for those who are suffering,” he said with tears in his eyes.
As I sit here now writing a group of first responders are going into get a coffee. I think about their pain and trauma from being the first on the scene, and the lump in my throat swells.
I don’t think our human hearts were made to handle this magnitude of pain and suffering. It feels out of reach, like a dark cloud. What can we do? We haven’t lost our husbands and our children. What we are going through is quite literally nothing in comparison.
I stop for a moment when I tuck in my kids at night. I let my hand rest on their face as I brush their hair from their face. I kiss their heads and I let my face rest there just breathing.
I think we need to give ourselves permission to grieve. Even if you are on the other side of the country or another continent entirely this kind of thing is heartbreaking. There is so much heartbreak daily. Even if it’s removed it is trauma, and it is more than our hearts can handle. I am forever marked by Haiti, by Sandy Hook, by Las Vegas…
So I guess what I want to say to those who have lost all that is most precious, that I grieve with you. I don’t have words, I don’t have answers, but I stand with you in this terrible dark space.
I am crying out to God with no words and with sorrow in my heart. I trust that he weeps with you today.
I saw a man on the news who had escaped with his family. “We were lucky,” he said flatly, “but it’s hard to think about that when our neighbors were not,” he swallowed hard.
Much love today friends,
Please join me in keeping the victims in your thoughts and prayers. If you want to donate, her is the link to an article covering ways to help .