Today was a lie-in-the-grass-in-the-sunshine kind of day. It was a reasonably cool day for late spring. Today was almost perfect: met up with friends for breakfast, did some shopping, chilled out at the park reading, dinner with parents.
But something didn’t feel quite right.
Yesterday morning (Saturday), I was lying on my bed listening to the radio while I read through a CPD module about asthma and COPD. My sister was coming over later to take Mum and me to her apartment. It could have been a day like any other, and in a way it was.
But between the songs and the ads, one of the “news headlines” segments mentioned that there had been terror attacks in Paris. It was a single sentence (maybe two), and I wasn’t really listening, so, at first, I thought I might’ve misheard it. I put down my booklet and did a quick search on my phone. Yep, I’d heard correctly, alright.
I have a couple of friends travelling around Europe at the moment. Thankfully neither of them were in Paris at the time.
Still, it’s devastating news.
There’s been a lot of news coverage about the attacks, a lot of people posting on social media, a lot of people talking about it. I will admit that, for the most part, I’ve gone about life as per usual, but it just resurfaces in my mind from time to time. It doesn’t seem right that I can enjoy a beautiful, carefree day when so many have had their lives ended so abruptly. On the other hand, it’s a kind of reminder of everything we shouldn’t take for granted.
Of course, there are plenty of other tragic stories in the news – the attacks in Paris are probably just the most talked about right now. Every day, there’s a fire somewhere, or a missing child, or a car accident. But, you know, most people, unaffected by these goings on, spare a thought (and perhaps a prayer if they’re so inclined) for these people, and get on with their lives. Society would not function if we let ourselves be oppressed by fear and devastation.
What really gave me pause was this article from the UK’s Telegraph, which includes names and photos of some of the victims. Some are also accompanied by brief descriptions or statements from those who knew them. I don’t know any of the people in the article, but that’s not the point.
Usually, when someone dies suddenly and unexpectedly, that person’s friends and family talk about their positive attributes: what they were passionate about, what a great friend they were, how much they had achieved, and all the promise that lay ahead of them. This makes it all the more sad that they’re gone, but kind of also inspires me to (try to) live life in a way that would also be remembered positively.
I really didn’t want this to be a mopey sort of post. I don’t want to tell people how to react/respond or what to think. I know there’s nothing revolutionary in what I’m writing. Like most other things I write about here, I just really needed to get my thoughts out into words, and this happens to be my preferred medium. Also, by having a post about this here, and knowing that I do, from time to time, look back on old posts I’ve written, I’m helping to ensure that I don’t forget about what’s happened. And not just in Paris, but all over the world.
So I’ll continue living my life (although perhaps with new perspective and new gratitude), and I won’t mope and dwell on things I can’t change, but I won’t forget either.