Family, London

Watching London From Here

Feels as heavy as if I were there. On the day the blasts happened, I was so thankful to have located Ali, his family and our friends to makes sure all were accounted for. Yesterday morning, I sat down to catch up on the latest toll of victims. 49 dead. I watched an interactive feature on NYtimes, which really hit me. I found myself choking back tears and imagining the times I have walked through the underground maze, exploring/discovering London from below, the most recent being my adventure at King’s Cross. I can imagine it too well in my mind. I spoke with Ali and he said traveling on the tube is eerie. There are pictures everywhere of people looking for missing loved ones. I felt my shoulders get heavy and the pit in my stomach grow. We both wished we were near each other, because at times like this you just want to be near the ones you love, safe.

I was in Bangkok when 9/11 hit. I have never lived in NYC. I have visited and I have very good friends that live there. I was in Michigan when the bombs hit London. I have lived in London. I have Ali there, as well as a second home. Everything got heavier than I thought it would and I can’t completely imagine what people are going through who experienced the bombings or loss of loved ones in them. Or how it would have felt to have been one of the individuals that woke up late and missed that train or that bus.

Inside King’s Cross, Kevin Bye, a 52-year-old train driver, said he rode past King’s Cross early on Thursday, missing the explosion by about 15 minutes. That is why he was standing in the station on Friday afternoon, ready to head home to his family in Peterborough, and not lying in a hospital somewhere.

“Whether you were 10 minutes away or 10 hours away,” he said, “you still missed it.”

My brother died nine years ago last weekend. My mom and I went to the cemetary on Thursday. I know how it feels to lose someone and have experienced the loss of more than just my brother. And sometimes I can read news reports objectively. But most times, I view it quite emotionally. This was one of those times. The weight of loss is heavy. Very heavy.