My Dear Son:
Our weekend plans changed, as it appears they also did with many other theater patrons, after the shooting of seventy people in Aurora, Colorado at a midnight opening of the movie Dark Knight Rises. As I explained to you, we chose another movie out of respect, although we had eagerly anticipated the next Batman adventure for the better part of the summer.
We live in a world challenged by uncertainty, and as adults, make our best efforts to protect those we love and hold dear. How can we make certain our child is not the next one who happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time?
Regarding this type of tragedy, we often sift through numerous reasons, prodded by our seeking-the-tidy-answer belief systems, in an attempt to understand why one life is spared and another taken.
What tells us it's better to survive instead of dying? What makes us believe continuing life in these bodies is our blessing, and that death is our curse? Or, if a person should actually long for death instead of life, what makes him believe that one is preferable over the other?
My thought is, if we could somehow see death and life as co-equals, not opposites, we might finally be able to openly tear down the barrier that seems to separate the dead from the living, once for all. And we would be no less grateful to live than to die.
We are undoubtedly awhile away from this, though, for in life, we encounter the routinely familiar and our personal histories, whereas for most people in spite of their internal resolutions about death, it still means encountering the mystery, the unknown. More tomorrow.