Overcoming Lugubriousness

I have a problem. Actually, I have a lot of problems, but I’m not even sure how many because math is one of them.

So I’ll just focus on this one; I sit to write, and I can’t.

Transient thoughts appear and then dissolve like clouds just as I try to take hold of them. I’m restless and unsettled, that’s the problem. I’ve got to find some positive, locate shreds of humor and latch on to them, because this space is a fertile breeding ground for a nice, dark bout of depression. As Sweet Brown says, “ain’t nobody got time for that.”

My first world problems have taken a backseat to the recent surge of hatred, senseless acts of violence, and pain in the world. Like the charred sidewalk of the explosion, the Boston marathon bombings have burned holes in our hearts. My brain keeps short circuiting, going back to it, reeling with thoughts of the innocent people and families whose lives have senselessly been taken or forever changed. Such an abysmal and immeasurable loss, my soul weeps along with our nation.

Boston-Globe-Marathon-Terror-front-page

lugubriousness : excessive sadness or mournfulness.

Adding insult to injury, people are actually collecting and selling debris found on the street after the bombing, and people are buying it. I can’t scroll three posts on my Facebook feed without seeing another conspiracy theory. It’s an abomination, and utterly disrespectful to all of the families directly affected by the tragedy.

I’m afraid to turn on the TV when my kids are home, but I know that I can’t shield them from the horrors of this world forever. Things like this foster agoraphobia, and in addition to struggling with that, I also grapple with what to tell them. PBS Parents posted a quote from Mister Rogers himself, which I found comforting for such unfortunate and devastating situations:

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of ‘disaster,’ I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.”

So we must search despairingly, amidst the heartache, for the hands of hope, goodness and inspiration to pull us from this sad place. One such story is that of Dick and Rick Hoyt. Things like this not only renew my faith in humanity, but give me some much needed perspective in times like these. Hopefully it will do for you what it did for me; remind me that humanity is, in fact, inherently good.

“A peculiar thing about faith is that it grows strongest when attacked hardest.” – F. D. Van Amburgh, “The Mental Spark Plug”

21 replies

  1. We accept without fanfare all the good that happens everyday and we highlight the bad (and of course most of it has to be that way – we have to know about things like the Boston Marathon) but so many good things are happening all the time. ALL THE TIME – humanity is always happening. I have to keep thinking that. Sandy Hook rocked my world, 9/11 left me mourning for weeks, The Boston Marathon made me cry all day – and I am never surprised that people respond in times of crisis – that is the beautiful thing about humans – most of of do good things automatically. It’s the horror that I cannot seem to get past. I know this is rambly – but I’m not sure I need to make sense – just express myself.

  2. You found the word for how I am feeling: lugubriousness. 😦 I don’t have the right words to express it all. And, frankly, I think I might need to look this one up to figure out to pronounce it. ha

  3. I can’t stop thinking about it either. I honestly thought I was going to hyperventilate when I read of the little boy who was killed and his family seriously injured while cheering on his dad. My kids hear about it at school and I had to sleep in Connor’s room that night bc he kept waking up terrified…it’s easy to imagine this stuff pulling us down into depression and hate but we can’t let them win like that.

    • It’s so hard as parents, trying to decipher the best way to handle these situations with our children. I, too was devastated by the loss of the 8 year old boy, and all of the senseless maiming on what should have been such a proud and joyous occasion. I am certain my mind is not the only one that instantly darts to the “what if that were my son” place, and it’s downhill from there.

  4. I can’t really put my finger on it, but something about the Boston bombing seems unreal to me….where previous tragedies seemed more real, somehow. For having trouble writing, you sure pumped out a good piece!

    • I absolutely agree. I think the difference between this and other tragedies, such as Sandy Hook and 9/11, is that this happened at what should have been a celebration. All of the families out there rooting on moms and dads and the like…it just adds another dimension of horror, shock, and awe.

      • It does add another dimension.
        And for me personally, this is the first time something has happened where I once lived, at a celebration I have been to before.
        I knew the exact spot where it occurred…..just blows my mind.

  5. It is a tragedy. when something like this happens, people in the US come together and are sincere about
    helping and doing anything they can. I cried all day as well. I can’t stand to see a child get hurt.
    they will find out who did this,

  6. I also believe that a human being is born pure and good. It is just the general rules and expectations our society has for us that pushes some of us in to a dark abyss of unhappiness. Which in turn can lead to destructive acts.

    We have a saying in Dutch, that’s going to sound funny in English, but it fits my point: “When a cat is driven into a corner, he makes strange jumps.”

    Any person that sees no way out of the mess they’re in will do something (self-)destructive.

    Humanity is capable of living in harmony, but it’s unhappiness that leads to insecurity, jealousy, greed, etc.

    Through all the worries and stress the expectations and laws bring along, we forget the importance of dignity and respect. We sell ourselves for green pieces of paper every day, whether you’re kissing the ass of your boss or rich friend or taking your clothes of in a strip joint.

    We are all forced to prostitute ourselves everyday in this survival of the fittest/wealthiest system we live in.

    And all those things we are ‘forced’ to do to provide for our families is what makes us unhappy, which in some cases leads to this…

    But, that’s just my opinion.

  7. Though it has not been mentioned much there has been and continues to be a huge outpouring of love, caring and compassion from around the world.

    Please remember how many people have rallied around in support and to offer comfort at this terrible time – they are the majority and they are wonderful.

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