So, I wasn’t aware until I received an email from the Resiliency Center that the sentencing part was about to end. I hadn’t even been reading the emails from the RC, but for some reason, I opened and read that one. I didn’t think much about it and then I heard from a friend was coming into town to attend the last day. (I've said before that I've had amazing people come into my life as a result of that day and I couldn't be more thankful for them and what light they bring into my life.). We got together and that was the first time I knew that people were giving written statements and also reading some on that final morning. As we separated for the evening with plans to meet up after the trial ended the next day, she asked if I wanted to come. My reply was an immediate “no” and I believe I even sort of laughed.
The next day, as I saw some people posting about going to the trial on social media, I thought for a second that I would have liked to write a statement if I had known. Oh well. As the morning turned to afternoon, I started to try and find out when it was ending since my friend hadn’t called yet and I was planning on when I should head to the city. Then, I saw on FB that he was going to make a statement. (I don’t use his name, I don’t call him anything really, except occasionally, the bomber.) I immediately turned on the news and sat there, feeling anxiety creep in. As they began to repeat what was being said in the courtroom, I immediately felt I wish I was there, to hear it in person. That would pass later.
I then listened to the speculation of reporters and later, of friends. I saw people post on FB about it , I got emotional and felt both anxious and frustrated. I wasn’t even sure why at first. But then, I took myself from my brain and my thoughts to what I was really feeling, sort of checking in with myself, and knew why. I have always hated reading anything angry about the bombings. It would give me more anxiety and sadness. I never went to anger. I was sad, I was afraid, I was numb at times, but never angry. The only time I went to anger was in response to other’s ignorant comments on things happening or to the media. So that was why I was feeling frustrated and anxious.
As I listened to the speculation and people’s thoughts on the statement, I, as usual, had a different feeling than others. Most said it was too little too late, that he should have said it sooner, that it didn’t matter. I feel different. I felt a sort of relief. Many know how I feel about this whole thing, how I don’t look at the people who did this in the same way many people do, as people born evil, as less than human. (more on this in my post: Why I never learnt their names) I don’t excuse what happened and I don’t in any way think it was okay. It was awful. I was there. I went through Hell for a long time, many times not thinking I’d ever be really happy again. So, I, in no way am okay with what happened and I will never say they were justified. But still, I tend to know there was a reason, a reason I could never fully understand as to why someone would do this awful thing. I can’t understand it because I never had such extreme hate and anger ingrained into me.
I was happy this statement came at the end. If it had come earlier, it would seem just something said to be part of the defense. Coming at the end, when he literally could have gotten up and said anything, helped me. It was an acceptance of responsibility and some sort of apology. It can never give back people’s lives, limbs, or take away the pain, mental or physical. Maybe it can never be truly forgiven either, but it can help to let it go. So, it may not have mattered to others, but it mattered to me. We can’t be in another person’s head, and we should never try to assume anything. We can’t know if that was truly genuine. We can’t know why he kept his head down throughout the trial. There’s always speculation. It could have been because he’s an ass who didn’t care at all, it could have been because he did realize what he’d done and couldn’t look at the people he’d hurt, or it could be any other reason we could never imagine. We can’t know why he sometimes smirked. Maybe, again, he was just a cocky asshole. Maybe he smirks when uncomfortable, like some of my closest family and friends actually do. Or maybe another reason. The point is, we can NEVER know. So, why do we try? It isn’t going to help. All we need to find peace and move on is WITHIN each of US.
Then, I began to really dig deep. I began to see the purpose in all I’d gone through. I began to focus on the new opportunities I’d been given, a new life, a new beginning. I was given this chance to truly appreciate how precious life is, how short it can be. I began to focus on that and figuring out what truly made my soul happy. I began to “feel” more than “think”, to make more time for those people and things that I love, to make myself a priority. I’ve never felt as happy or at peace as I do now. A little over a year ago, I still felt that I may never be fully happy again, that I may not laugh the same again, that I would feel anxious and sad forever. I now wake up every day appreciative that I couldn’t have been more wrong. Is it gone completely? No. I have my moments when anxiety creeps back in, when I have emotion about it all. But, I accept that. It’s now a part of my story, and I probably wouldn’t be where I am now without it. I do truly believe this quote:
Thanks for reading.