In the wake of that horrible shooting in Roanoke, I have been thinking a lot about the people left behind. Alison Parker’s boyfriend, her family; Adam Ward and his fiancée and family, how they must be feeling. I know we are all talking about gun laws right now, but behind it all are people hurting really, really bad. This isn’t a statistic to illustrate a cause, for them. This is their whole lives.
Alison’s boyfriend, Chris, got on social media to talk about how he was feeling in the days after her death. He was very open about the deep love he had shared with her: “We didn’t share this publicly, but @AParkerWDBJ7 [Alison] and I were very much in love.” A few minutes later: “She was the most radiant woman I ever met.”
Why did it take her dying for him to be public about his love for her? Why is it unprofessional or weak or silly to share with people – the same people you share enthusiasms about little things like your favorite foods, your sports affiliations, even what kind of car you drive – how much you love someone? Why is it embarrassing to love deeply? Why is pretending to be an emotionless robot the way you have to behave almost all the time unless you want to make a fool of yourself?
When you read those articles about things people wish they had said and done on their deathbeds, and how so many say they wished they had loved and shown love more, it makes you wonder why hiding your feelings is still the way so many of us live, and why we ridicule people who have the audacity to be vulnerable in front of us.