One year later

The earth has rotated around the sun one entire year since Feb. 14th, 2018. Suddenly though it doesn’t seem so long.

You can go through days where you can’t remember what you had for breakfast, but yet there are some days that you will remember every minute for the rest of your life. You can recall the events of the day down to the minute. You have replayed that day over and over in your head so many times you begin to feel like you are in that movie Ground Hogs day.

It’s a year later. What are you suppose to do? What makes sense? Are you suppose to move throughout your day like it’s any other day, or at least make it seem that way on the outside? Would you like to fast forward to next week and move past this first milestone and give yourself another rotation to think about it. I promise I understand if you do.

Maybe you just want it to be normal, just like any other day. Except your normal has changed. Your life has changed. And no matter if you slept through tomorrow or not life as you knew it 365 days will never be the same.

I woke up this morning and battled it out. Over the last few days the constant reminders have been building, and with it the anxiety of PTSD comes. News papers have been listing various events throughout our city, paintings, classes and even a temporary reflection and meditation temple has been built from scratch over the last few weeks. It’s beautiful, it caring, it’s healing, loving and serene, but yet my heart still races everytime I pass it or read the announcements online.

All of the reflections and activities to help shield the pain. These beautiful events all around are to help a community cope with the grief of innocence gone, lives shattered and the unspeakable atrocities that took place one year ago today.

Over the past year so many of my friends are suddenly walking in my shoes either directly or indirectly their lives have been changed by the horrors that took place at MSD. Forever members of our community will remember what they were doing Feb 14, 2018, where they were going, who they were with and for so many the memories will continue from there.

To my friends, I can’t tell you how to heal. It took me a long time to come out of my protective cocoon. It took years of unconscious healing before I could consciously begin to heal. I can’t stop the reel in your mind from being on repeat as the constant reminders are all around this week. If your struggling all I can suggest is add something new. Make tomorrow Feb. 14, 2019 that you add a new memory to that day. Do something consciously that will make it’s way into the loop you replay in your mind. Perhaps let it be the day that you connect with an old friend that you lost touch with. Maybe take the time to play a board game with your kids. Carve out a few minutes into your day and take a walk on the beach just for you. If it’s to much to do any of this simply getting through the day for now is okay, eventually I hope you are able to help bring a new memory to store in your head that will also be included in that loop you replay.

Today was tough, but I know tomorrow will be tougher. I hope that the smiles I brought today to a few friends will help carry them with a new memory through this difficult day.

We are all walking in different shoes, but I hope we all keep our arms out to help others as the walk the same path of healing in their own way.

About the Author
Nechama Gutman was raised in South Florida. She traveled to Israel at the age of 17 where she fell in love with the land. Upon returning to the states she spent several years helping people make Aliyah. Nechama is a mother, wife, a survivor of a terrorist attack and person who wants to bring light into the world.