sorrow |ˈsärō|noun a feeling of deep distress caused by loss suffered by oneself or others

This is a tough one. Tough because it is hard to know what to say. Five days ago the little beach town I live in was rocked to it’s core. A lone gunman entered a salon a few blocks from where I live, opened fire and shot 9 people, killing eight. That is hard to write and to read. I did not know one person who was injured or killed, but in this small town, I have heard plenty of stories now, of all the wonderful people who’s lives were stolen on that day. I took my regular morning walk with a friend the day after, which happens to cross paths with the salon, and it is hard to explain what I saw and felt. The streets were packed with people, cars, cops and news vans. This is not a typical site in Seal Beach in the morning or… ever. The eeriest part of all was that it was soooo quiet. The reality of knowing that 8 people were murdered at the salon I was passing on the opposite side of the street…well it stopped me in my tracks. It was hard to take in. I get chills just thinking about it.

I am not from Seal Beach. I moved here over two years ago. It is the longest place I have lived in the fifteen years I have been in Southern California. I plan on spending many more years to come here. It is the only place that has ever felt like “home” to me. I fell in love with the city even before I actually lived here. River’s End Cafe was the first restaurant I went to with my Mom when I first moved down here. I fell more in love with Seal Beach when I actually moved in. On several different occasions my neighbors came up, introduced themselves, and welcomed me to the neighborhood. Who does that anymore? Also, every time I take a walk, down to the post office, to go eat, or just because, every person I come across says “hello!” I’ve borrowed sugar, a broom, and a hammer from neighbors. My neighbor across the street who has never met me came over to my house to help fix my stove and another helped me sop up an inch of water on my kitchen floor when it flooded. Again, who does that anymore? It is a safe, friendly and warm place. This tragedy has not changed that feeling for me. Seal Beach was already a close-knit community; this has only brought everyone closer together. I stopped by the salon’s memorial yesterday and experienced chills all over again. I stayed a long time reading all the notes, smelling the sweet aroma of all the flowers, and taking photos.

My thoughts and prayers go out to the 8 people who’s lives were abruptly and unnecessarily taken last week and to all of your loved ones who had been deeply hurt and affected by your loss. Rest in peace, Victoria Ann Buzzo, David Caouette, Laura Lee Elody, Randy Lee Fannin, Lucia Bernice Kondas, Michelle Daschbach, Michelle Marie Fournier, and Christy Lynn Wilson. I wish a speedy recovery to the lone survivor, Hattie Stretz.

Give sorrow words; the grief that does not speak whispers the o’er-fraught heart and bids it break.  ~William Shakespeare



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