Thursday, July 02, 2009


"I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love."
- Mother Teresa

That is where I am trying to be. In a place where I focus on how much I love the people I have lost. I want that to be my driving emotion. More than one person I care for died in the shooting. I am focusing on the loss of Allan, but that is because it is so large to me. I feel I need to find a way to understand that one loss so I can process all the deaths that took place that day.

I have every one of their phone numbers in my cell phone and I cannot figure out what to do with that. I started to text Allan one day. I was somehow disoriented enough to start typing a message I can never send.

Sometimes something hurts so much that it feels like it has a physical presence. It feels large and looming. The loss is enormous and surrounds me and makes me feel as if I am seeing everything through a haze. As if it has swallowed me whole.

I realize that the loss is so tremendous because of how much love I have for the people who died in front of me so suddenly, all in one day. So I am trying to find a way to focus on that love. If I must be swallowed by a whale, let it be made of something good. Let me be overwhelmed by how much I love them. Let me take that love and use it in how I interact with the world.

I'm not angry. Perhaps I should be, but I don't have room for anger. The man who shot my loved ones is dead. He took his own life. He is irrelevant and was, to me, from the moment they died - although we did not learn of his death until weeks later.

I have lost so much in the last year and a half. My last tenuous shreds of illusion about safety. My plans and even my desire to marry. Family members have died. And friends. Friends who were some of the most remarkable people I have ever known. This is not a disingenuous and distorted memory of the dead. I tend to be appalled at the rosy cheeked perfection with which people remember their dead. No, each of the friends I have lost were truly unusual and remarkable. Death came and took the best from among us. I do not want to be made up of loss.

So here I am, loving. Loving until it pains me in ways I could never have imagined. Loving like something in my chest cavity is straining to cry out and make itself heard in the ether. I am going to accept it and try to find a way to take joy in my capacity to love them. I am not going to let it close me down or prevent me from loving other people. I am not going to let myself swim in this suffering.

I will love so much that there will be no more room in me for hurt. Only love.


  1. Hey, Marisa, I came over from Tracey's. I hope it's O.K. to say I'm sorry to hear about your losses. What you said about love is interesting. . . I had a great professor in college (Political Science!) who said that "love ultimately is sacrifice." Don't know if that fuels your fire or is completely irrelevant, but I thought I'd offer that.

  2. Thank you Kate, And of course it is ok to say that - I appreciate it. One of the many thing I think I'll be writing about on here in the near future is how I admire people who DO say something to me. I know it's hard and awkward to say anything in the face of someone else's loss and I really appreciate it when people do say something. I really like that phrase and it makes perfect sense. Thank you!

  3. Oh, hon. I'm crying. You're stronger than you know. This is beautiful. And brave.

  4. The true nature of forgiveness is not allowing the hatred to tie up your thoughts, to let that be the predominant spirit that lives in your mind. The turn towards love is a brilliant step, and one that has helped me much, as well.