I don’t usually blog about stuff like this. Hell, nowadays I don’t blog at all. But yesterday’s shooting in Uvalde, Texas shook me pretty hard and I just have some things I need to get out, and writing my thoughts out in blogs has always been kinda a therapeutic thing for me.

I’m gonna be kinda vulnerable for a second: I’ve been thinking about death a lot lately.

It started a few months ago when just some random day I was looking at my dog as he was asleep and started tearing up knowing that one day in the not-so-distant future I’m gonna have to say goodbye.

A few weeks later, I was over at my parent’s house for a birthday party and got into a pretty heated argument with my sister about something stupid, probably some board game rule or something. My mom told me before I left not to let the day end without making up with her because you never know when your last moments with someone are. She’s told me this most of her life so I kinda just shrugged it off, but on the drive home, it sank in and the tears started flowing again. I texted my sister shortly after I got home.

My dad’s birthday is coming up next month. He’s my best friend in the whole world. He’s taught me everything I know and he’s always there for me whether I need advice or help with a situation. I really struggle sometimes with emotions especially love, but my dad is one of the people in my life that I know that I truly love with everything in me. He turns 60 this year and it’s really starting to sink in that our time left together is limited. Like I’m saying I have an anxiety attack once a month thinking about it.

I think weekly about my own life and how now that I’ve kinda abandoned the religion I was raised to believe, I truly don’t know what’s going to happen when I die. Or when I will die. Or what burdens I will leave behind to those I love. I think about how I spend so much of my time bitter and angry at people over sometimes the smallest of things when I have no idea when they will be gone.

Last week, 10 people I never knew or met were killed in a shooting in my hometown. They went to the supermarket like any other day and an evil man with evil intentions ended their lives. Their loved ones didn’t even get to say goodbye. Didn’t get to tell them they loved them one last time and see them smile or laugh. Didn’t have any time to come to terms with their passing or feel some sort of closure. I read up on all the victims and my heart just breaks for people that have to actually live with the pain I’ve been thinking about for months.

And now yesterday, only 10 days after the Buffalo shooting, 19 children and 2 teachers have been killed by another evil man in another city. I watched a video of a man looking for news that his kid was alive only to find that his son was one of the victims. I read a tweet about how the parents of the victims of the Sandy Hook shooting all found out at the same time and the crying and screams could be heard from the streets.

I layed in bed last night crying thinking about how those parents don’t get to experience the things that my dad and I grew up doing. They won’t get to watch them compete in a sport or put everything into an idea for a small business. They won’t get to walk them down the aisle and celebrate the start of a new family. They won’t get those Saturday morning breakfasts at a diner where they can finally have conversations as adults. They won’t get to hold their grandchildren in their hands and help teach the joys and pains of parenting. They won’t even get the luxury I have of getting one more day with my dad.

They won’t get to do any of those things. They’re dead. And nothing can ever repair the hole in the hearts of every person that lost just one more hug, one more smile, one more “I love you, dad”.

I see people arguing on the internet about what should be done to prevent this and what mistakes we have made/are making as a country that leads to disgusting acts like this, but all I can focus on is the pain. It’s all I’ve been able to think about for the last 24 hours. Tears are streaming down my face right now as I type this.

And I don’t really know what to say. Nothing I say or do could ever fix or even help the pain that the community and countless others across the nation feel today.

The only thing I can do is just repeat the title: hug your loved ones. Forgive the people that you love. Don’t waste a moment of your life with them holding anger and bitterness. You truly never know when it will be the last.