I'm not sure there's any reason to add my voice to the hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of others all around the globe talking about the shootings yesterday, and yet I'm compelled to all the same.
Part of me wonders what there is to say that hasn't been said already. I mean, we know the words: tragedy, rampage, senseless violence, massacre, needless loss of human life.
But, like any other struggle, be it mental or physical, personal or just taken personally, I find writing helps make sense of what can't otherwise be explained.
I didn't find out about the news until late in the afternoon. I had just woken up from what is quickly becoming a daily pregnancy habit of an afternoon nap and went to my computer -- a much more established habit. When I refreshed my homepage, the words "Shooting rampage at Virginia Tech" filled the screen.
For a brief moment, the world stopped. I don't recall having any immediate thoughts other than feeling overwhelmingly upset. Upset that the weapons we have invented enable anyone with time, money and an agenda to play God.
I clicked on the link and immersed myself in the few details that were available at the time, then I jumped to another news site, then another and another.
One of the most vivid memories that will stay with me isn't any individual photo or eyewitness account, but the overwhelming coverage provided by the students and faculty themselves. It is absolutely amazing to me that we live in such a technologically savvy era that a teenager outside the building was able to pull out his cell phone and capture video of police swarming the grounds while the sound of 22 gunshots can be heard in the distance.
As I spent the rest of the afternoon glued to the unfolding details of the case, I found myself wishing that I didn't have the night off. Not only did I want access to the dozens of stories and images that The Associated Press moved, but like any other historic moment in U.S. history that I have been alive to witness, triumphant or tragic, I wanted to be a part of it. I guess that instinct is what drove me into the news business in the first place.
When my mother called a few hours later, she voiced the one fear I hadn't allowed myself time to process.
"When you send your children to school, you worry constantly about so many things," she said. "But this? There are no words. I can't even imagine what those families are going through."
And that's it. That's the heart of it. America has invented a type of violence that hasn't really been replicated anywhere else: Someone with a point to prove collects ammo and opens fire in a densely populated area, most often schools or malls. And the families and friends of the innocent victims are left with nothing but questions that likely won't ever be answered.
My fear is that it's only going to get worse. Now other confused adolescents and adults who feel that the world has wronged them have another story of inspiration. Another death toll to beat. Another anniversary to mark.
It scares me to no end.
Because I have a little heart beating inside me.
And I never want to know what those parents are going through.