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Pausing for Crisis

This week was a blur.

I don’t really know where to start. I don’t even feel like writing about any of it.

There have been a few compounding tragedies over the last couple of weeks that all happened within a short timeframe, and each of them were enough to take my breath away. Sadness is seeping its cold, dark way into the bodies, minds and hearts of so many people that I love lately. It’s manifesting in different ways – equally horrific – and the consequences are devastating.

I can’t write about anyone’s experiences but my own, and it’s not my place to discuss the details of these painful circumstances. All I can say is that as a result, my heart has been continually breaking into pieces, and those pieces then break into smaller pieces, ad infinitum down to the atoms, nonstop, especially since last Friday.

There isn’t a moment to catch my breath, and we’re still in the thick of it honestly. My kids are waking up at all hours of the night and morning. I’ve resigned to starting our days at 4am lately because nobody is sleeping anyways. Even our little puppy is sad and stressed out.

During one of the trips to the ER last weekend, a very elderly couple was in line in front of me. They seemed like they’d been married their whole lives. The older man was in a wheelchair and on oxygen, and did not look good. His wife kept pleading with the admitting nurse, who was preventing her from going back to the emergency department with him. Over and over, “But he could die! I have to be with him!” And the nurse kept replying firmly, over and over, “That’s why he needs to be seen. You need to go home.”

It was a chilling and heart-wrenching scene. I felt such sorrow for this couple, whose possible last, deeply emotional moments together may have been such a public spectacle. I felt so much sadness for the nurse as well, who was just trying to save his life, but who also had to follow protocol. She knew what impact her words had and what they could mean: he might die alone, without his wife by his side. Still, the nurse had no choice.

Everything about the world feels so wrong right now.

Maybe I’ll be able to write more next week. I haven’t been able to focus on anything but the issues at hand. I haven’t done any teaching. I don’t have any cute pictures of my kids playing and learning, partially because there wasn’t a lot of that happening, and partially because I just didn’t have it in me to pick up the camera.

Things have to get better…once they stop getting worse. I’m hoping we’re at the worst of

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