I’m carrying around a weight this evening.  Perhaps I could do something cheerful, or distract myself, or “talk” to Elsie (which I do silently, these days)… but I will choose not to.

A 10-year-old autistic girl, Kristina Vlassenko, wandered away from her home yesterday afternoon; she was found, having drowned, early this morning.

I could sum things up with a simple phrase, but I shy away from using those phrases because I’m afraid to use them incorrectly or inappropriately.

So, my heart does not literally ache.

I do not cry.

I do not even feel a sadness, that I know of.

But I do feel a weight, and a heavy one.  I feel like I move through thick liquid, or like I try to run in water.  This, this is how I feel such things, and so I will tell you.

And fear; I feel fear.  How many sweet children do we need to lose before we come up with a better solution? Even then, what on earth would the solution be?

And fear for myself, because while I do not wander to any great degree, I do not feel safe in this world.  There are too many people up to no good for a 23-going-on-11-year-old-living-alone girl not to be scared.

Hug your babies tighter tonight, for me, all you parents.

As for me, I will sit with this weight, choosing not to force it anywhere, until it decides to go away.  This is how I remember.


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