Tuesday, November 7, 2017

An Open Letter to Sutherland Springs, Texas

After the tragedy in Sutherland Springs, Texas, my amazing wife penned this letter to them. I feel it is something they will need in the days ahead.

Dear Sutherland Springs,
I could not believe the news this past Sunday morning. I had just returned from a day trip to Las Vegas to retrace my steps and visit the memorials. You see, I survived the Route 91 Harvest Festival mass shooting. It's surreal to even write those words. It's surreal to be writing to other victims of such an unthinkable, horrific, and evil act.

I woke up Sunday morning and felt peace for the first time in over a month. I was finally able to get some answers and much needed closure from my return trip to Las Vegas. I walked into my kitchen, poured my favorite coffee into a "But first, Jesus" mug that a friend had sent me after the shooting. Life was finally starting to feel 'good' again. I sat down and turned on reality TV (please don't judge me, it's my 'get away from it all' guilty pleasure). Not even five minutes into the television show, my husband told me another survivor friend of ours just posted that there had been a mass shooting in a church. I LITERALLY gasped. I could not believe such a thing. I could not pick up the remote and tune in to CNN fast enough. 

There it was. Just shock. No words. Tears filled my eyes. My body trembled like it did the night I experienced 'my' mass shooting. I IMMEDIATELY felt for all of you. This is one time in my life where I can say "I know how you feel." and have it be the truth. I DO know how you feel. You are my people. You are part of this new club of ours and you never asked for an invitation. You never wanted one. Neither did we.

But here we are. Engulfed in "Why?!"'s. Clouded by anger and disbelief. Surrounded by unbelievable sadness. It's hard to even write this letter to you without wanting to reach out and hug EVERY SINGLE PERSON this has affected - and that number is huge. You are affected. Your family is affected. Your friends are affected. Your community is affected. Your new sisters and brothers of mass shootings are affected. Most of the world is affected, not all, but most. This should have NEVER happened to you. This should have NEVER happened to us.

The media and politicians will argue. Those that weren't there will tell you how this could have been avoided. Or the worst, your tragedy will be spun as a 'false flag' - something I had NEVER heard of in my life before the Las Vegas massacre.

The only answer I have is to send love from afar. We don't 'know' you, but we DO know you. We hurt with you. We are angered for you! We care about you.

It is dark right now on this new path. SO DARK. But light will shine again. Eventually. Be patient for it. Be kind to yourself. Be strong for one another.

You are Sutherland Springs. You are tight-knit. You are resilient. You are LOVED.

Kymberli Quackenbush
Long Beach, California

1 comment:

  1. Thanks to this. I really learned a lot of things :D

    ReplyDelete