The days to come will test your emotions.

IMGP0366As it unfolded yesterday, I was unable to glue myself to the television and watch the events. I watched in snippets. Tears flowed throughout my day. I listened to news breaks on the radio. I checked in with those I know who may have known others involved. and I checked in on Facebook. After being a victim of a house fire, watching two of the worst forest fires in Colorado history that affected hundreds of people I personally knew, I couldn’t be consumed with the news. I know how it takes over the psyche.

I’d been a 911 dispatcher for 7 years and having never been on the other end of such a tragic horrifing mass casulty event, I can and can’t even imagine. I have seen, heard and read first hand of what the human is capable of doing to another. Having also worked in law enforcement for most of my career in positions other than an officer, and 5 years as a corrections officer, I can say that while 3 hours seems like such a long time, there are so many factors that come into play that the general public will never know about or even care to know but may only come in judgment and blame.

Having been a victim of death threats by a neighbor solely for being gay and treated by the court system as if it was just a neighbor dispute, I know first hand how it feels to be ignored by the police, the court system and even the other neighbors who were too scared to speak up. This is not about blame.

This is about coming together as a community of souls to speak up, to report, to insist on changes and to keep on being respectful human beings. This is about not becoming the next statistic. My heart goes out to all involved. I am angered. I am saddened. I am full of grief and I hold all close to my heart.

There will be times of sorrow for the lives lost, there has and will be tears shed across the world and even times of celebration for those who wished and will be remembered as the beautiful beings they were and what each of them meant to their loved ones.

There will be a spectrum of feelings that will be unleashed through this process. Please keep in mind that it is important to handle your grief as only you can. Please don’t let hatred become your new friend. Speak a kind word and linger with love in your heart.

Please speak up when you see something that just isn’t right. Keeping silent only adds to the horror of another time.