Lists, mental and handwritten, of information fill my mind and the garbage can. Words of comfort and counsel cross my lips in an optimistic tone, alleviating some of the worry for a little while and encouraging whatever action is eventually taken.
Can I tell you a secret?
I don't feel particularly optimistic. In truth, I feel empty. Empty and lost and unsure and tired.
So many tears. So much worry.
It's useless to ask why, but I ask anyway.
Why do these things happen?
Why do people choose to hurt others?
Why are people cruel and senseless and irresponsible?
Why are people seemingly so incapable of accepting the fact that what they do effects others, and that the consequences of their stupidity and viciousness leave indescribable amounts of pain in their wake?
More importantly, what do we do now? No path will be easy. No journey will be short. No direction will be free from pain. Mentally, emotionally, physically -- maybe even spiritually. Nothing about this is, or ever will be, easy.
And another question: not just what should we do now. What do I do now? Two days until a decision must be made. Two days. But then after that, it's not a mere two days. It's every single day for the rest of our lives.
This sounds so dramatic and childish to me -- but it will be every day. That's why being a part of the decision making is so hard. That's why being asked to help is so frightening. The consequences will be life changing. The healing process will be long.
I don't know why I feel so alone right now. I'm not the one who has to make the decision. I'm not the one experiencing all of this. All I've been asked to do is help, listen, offer my thoughts, and run the occasional errand. I just need to be there.
So why do I feel so alone? Let down? Afraid?
Tell me how you would answer this question: "How can you be sure that you're doing the right thing when what you feel is right goes against everything you've ever known?"
I'm running out of things to say. And we're running out of time.