No words

I’m a writer. I’m supposed to have words. Always. But today there are none.

Yesterday, someone – and I hesitate to call him a man – planted a bomb outside a government building in my hometown. And while the police were busy dealing with that tragedy – a tragedy where seven people died – this person, dressed in police gear, with a Glock and an assault rifle, drove to a summer camp 45 minutes away, where he said he was dispatched to check on everyone’s safety in light of what had happened in town. And then he opened fire on the campers. On children
All in all, almost a hundred people died. A hundred of my people. In my town. Oslo, city of peace. The capital of Norway, where the Nobel Peace prize is handed out each year.

And I have no words. There’s no way to explain something like this. No way to put into words the feelings of shock, of anger, of helplessness. Of grief, not for myself – I was lucky; my family and friends are safe – but for everyone who wasn’t so blessed.

There are no words for the lives lost, the innocence lost, the peace lost. For all of us.

Most of all, I’m proud to be Norwegian today. I’m proud of the way my people and my government handled the crisis. Proud that there was no fingerpointing, no instant jump to a conclusion that – as it turns out – would have been wrong. Proud that we rose above, that there was no retaliation against people who are just as shocked, disbelieving, and angry as the rest of us, even if their skin is a different color.

Proud that of all the pictures of the senselessness, this is the one that made its way around the interwebs in record time, with the caption “this is a picture everyone should see.”

I pray that in the days and weeks to come, we’ll be able to hold on to those feelings of tolerance, of brotherhood, of solidarity and love… and that they’ll help us get through this, to once again be the city of peace that we were before July 22nd, 2011.

8 thoughts on “No words”

  1. Oh, Jenna. My heart goes out to you. Everyone here in the States are reeling, as well. You’re right, there are no words. Hugs, honey. And thank you for sharing that picture – I hadn’t seen it before.

  2. My heart goes out to you, your country, and everyone who has had to deal with this tragedy! I just don’t understand what the world has come to, with people doing these things.

  3. My heart goes out to you and the people of Norway.

    I just don’t understand the senselessness of these actions.

  4. Words can’t express the sadness I feel from what happened in such a peaceful place. You wrote your feelings so graphically. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with your writing. I pray that this never happens again. God bless you, Jenna.

  5. Thanks to everyone for the kind comments and support; mange takk til de av dere som snakker norsk!

    Dark days, but we will come out on the other side stronger and better. xoxo

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