healing takes time

The past three weeks have gone by in a blur. I’m just starting to get back to “normal.” Honestly, I’m not sure what I’m going to write here. But I know I need to try. For me, writing is therapeutic. 

I’ve had some time to process the horrific events that shattered my community of Thousand Oaks, CA — the mass shooting and devastating wildfires. Sometimes it feels like it never could’ve happened, that it was a bad dream.

But it was all too real.

It’s hard to describe how it felt to hear the gut-wrenching news that a shooter killed twelve people at a popular country bar in our tight-knit, safe city. And hours later, to receive a mandatory evacuation order because our home was in “imminent danger” of a fast moving fire.

Each event was tragic enough on its own. But together? Unbelievable.

None of us had time to mourn those murdered at the Borderline Bar & Grill, before we had to pack our cars and rush to leave, worried our homes might burn.

My daughters and I were talking about this the other day, how it seemed like it wasn’t fair that the shooting didn’t get the immediate attention it deserved, because of the fires. Not that anyone could help it… But still.

Now that the smoke has cleared — literally — our community is able to grieve the twelve innocent souls who lost their lives much too soon.

Thousands have visited a beautiful memorial at an intersection near the  Borderline bar. A man from another state made twelve white wooden crosses with each victim’s name on them. There are photos, American flags, candles, angel wings, hearts, and so, so many flowers.

People wrote poems, letters, and messages to the victims, like God has 12 new angels, We love you, and You died a hero; and notes to the community, such as T.O. Strong. And, We will get through this TOgether. 

My husband and I visited the memorial late one Saturday night. The grandparents of one of the boys killed were there, standing vigil by their grandson’s cross. It was so sad to see the grandmother break down as she read the loving messages and mementos left for her grandson.  

Disasters bring people together. It’s heartwarming to see neighbors working to help support those who lost so much. There are memorials, fundraisers, and vigils scheduled throughout December and beyond.

I’m more than grateful that my family and home are both safe. I wasn’t directly affected — well, yes I was, because I live here. I didn’t lose my home or a child in the shooting. But my daughters know kids who were there and lived through that horror. One of my friend’s friend lost her son.

The shooting and fires affected the entire community in some way. It’s hard to push these tragedies aside and move forward. I guess that’s part of healing. It can’t be rushed.

Not a day goes by that I don’t think of the shooting victims and how hard it must be for their families. And of the hundreds of people who lost their homes and the three who died in the fires, unable to escape. It seems especially difficult now that it’s the holiday season.

My heart breaks for all of them. And I know it will for a long, long time. These harrowing events changed our community forever. We will never forget.

Together, we’ll heal. It just takes time.

Image courtesy of here


24 thoughts on “Healing

  1. So incredibly sad. My heart breaks for all those affected. This Christmas will not be the same. May they all find comfort somehow in their precious memories. Hugs to you Jenny. Keep writing xx ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am glad your community is displaying their love and grief on the whole. It’s so important to know people care. I’m sure these events reshape you all. Tired of senseless tragedies, to the point where my words don’t seem to matter. Sending you love and light for healing. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you so, so much. That’s a great way to say it, that these events reshape us. Very true. I’m tired of senseless tragedies too. This has to stop. One of my college friends was killed in the Vegas mass shooting. Thanks for your nice comment and good thoughts! xx

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m glad you and your family are ok. Everytime I wear my Vegas Strong tshirt i think of all the victims and their family and friends and I send my love and prayers to send. I will do the same when think of TO when I th

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you so much! Your love and prayers mean a lot. One of my college friends was killed in the Vegas shooting. So sad, senseless, and tragic. Thanks for reading and your nice comment! Take care, Jenny xx


  4. I’m so sorry that you had to go through this. Even when events don’t directly affect us in some ways they definitely do in others. It’s good that you are safe but it’s upsetting to think about the fact that some weren’t as fortunate. As a way of encouragement, I wanted to leave a scriptural thought with you. Revelation 21:4 says, “And he will wipe out every year from their eyes. And death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore
    The former things have passed away.” ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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