I woke up with a stomach full of dread yesterday morning and it was there most of the day. It seems every time I turn on the computer or read the news it’s all about horrible things that you hope will never happen. I won’t even make links here but those who have followed the stories of Thalon and Maddie will know what I’m talking about, and anyone local has probably been following Sandra Cantu’s story as well; which is becoming more horrifying with each news release.

There are days you wonder if all this communication is a good thing. I would never ever deny the massive support that the Internet affords to parents and families who need it. The charities it helps and the awareness it brings. I think that is an unexpected and blessed byproduct of the digital age. But when you also see grief and depression building, feeding upon a cycle of blogs and twitter, when you feel like a heel for saying something funny two seconds before you heard the latest news, when the guilt and horror become debilitating – as I’ve seen over the last week – it gets to be all too much.

And what’s more… sometimes I feel like I’m intruding. Intruding, undeserved, upon others’ grief. We are always bystanders when the tragedy is not our own, but with these outlets of instant shared communication we are witness to personal tragedy more than ever. No matter how much our hearts go out to those the tragedy has struck, I have to wonder if our presence is unwelcome.

Chance is home sick with me; has been sick most of the weekend. But he’s here with me, right? I had a hard time pulling away from the computer yesterday (doubly so, since I work online). When I felt like I was going crazy I went outside in the sun and pulled up weeds until my back hurt. That actually made me feel a little better. Sometimes you have to say, this is where I am right now, in this patch of sun. I am doing this small thing, in this small moment. Ground yourself.

And then just turn the computer off for a little while.              -wg