On Friday, December 14, 6 friends and I held tickets to a political music concert that we were really looking forward to. We learned that morning of the horrifying events in Newtown, CT and like millions of others, were paralyzed with grief. My instinct throughout the day was to call my friends and suggest we cancel our plans but somehow I never picked up the phone. Everyone showed up at my house as planned but this time our usual hug greetings were expressions of grief and disbelief. We called the theater to ask if the concert might be cancelled, hoping that the answer would be yes, but the show was to go on and we reluctantly agreed to go.
The director of the theatre came out prior to the beginning of events to acknowledge the incongruity of the day’s events and our all being together for a holiday concert. The moment of silence that followed was welcomed and embraced. And then the evening’s entertainment began. I found myself laughing, applauding, enjoying the political humor and then feeling guilty for having left grief behind. This cycle repeated many times during the evening.
When the concert was over, I commented to one of the performers that my friends and I had considered not attending but that I was glad we did. The evening provided an oasis of relief, an emotional refueling station. She looked at me, started to cry and said that our being there served the same purpose for the performers who had also considered canceling and worked hard to revise the program that day to keep the darker side of their humor away.
The end of 2012 brings many reasons, nationally and personally, not to laugh or celebrate or give in to enjoyment. 2013 will bring new challenges along with the unresolved issues I’ve been fighting for so far. If I allowed it, I could easily get caught up in the darkness and be stuck there but I’m forcing myself to embrace the little bits of light as they come. They are sources of strength and commitment to be ready for whatever awaits us. I wish everyone bits of light whenever needed to keep us going.