I'd like to say that the things that happened this week helped me slow down and appreciate the good around me. I would have liked to sit here and report to you that indeed, I am blessed and appreciating all the fortunes of my family life by showering them with love and comfort during this time. Or that I have turned my sadness into a reservoir of hope for better days, sheltering my girls from the world's cruelties with my adoring arms and meaningful cuddles.
But I didn't. I am angry and hurting. I have been short tempered with the girls. Their incessant whining and crying, which is really just characteristic of their ages and development, are making my skin crawl. I yell at them to,"Stop crying, all of you, this instant!!" not really believing they will heed my warning, but because I physically feel a need to yell, to scream. To close doors harder than necessary and slam the kitchen drawers shut again.
I couldn't wait to put them to bed for naps, to turn on a TV show that would keep them quiet for a few minutes so I could check the news, again. I look for answers in a situation where there really aren't any. I am transported back to every time I have learned a friend has died in the line of duty, the raw pain of realizing what the job can mean. I imagine that it is rich in the video, being shot down, that it is me receiving the call that he isn't coming home. Because when someone kills a cop just for being a cop, it could very well be Rich.
I want to snuggle my girls on the couch, and have a quiet morning. But, they don't. They want to run and play and whine and squirm and hit each other and take toys. I don't want to referee them lovingly, guiding them to a new activity, helping them through their overwhelming feelings. I want to be free to feel my own overwhelming feelings.
I cried, out of shame, that I was acting this way. I cry for the families who lost their husbands, sons, daddies. I feel so, so sad for them. I feel so protective of my own Mountie, who, until the shooter was captured, was on standby to go to Moncton, and into the danger from which everyone else was hiding. I want to shake myself, snap some sense back into myself, make myself realize how lucky I am to have what I have, and share my house with this adorable, amazing family. But right now, I don't feel thankful, hopeful, appreciative. I feel sad, hurt, scared, angry.
I don't wish any harm to come to anyone else, the shooter included. My anger towards him is better directed into something else. Maybe I'll go for a good, long run to clear my head. Or a long run to somewhere far away where I'll cry angry tears that three families lost their precious Mounties because someone had a grudge against police officers. I just need to do something with these angry, sad, hurt feelings building up because these four little girls deserve better. I know they do. I have to give myself permission to feel this, though. I know, from going through this all before, that it doesn't just go away.
Most days I am nothing but immensely proud of my hero, my Mountie, and I share his accomplishments gladly. This week, though, this is what it means to be part of this community. We stand together in all of this, and I'm so glad there are others who "get" what this feels like.