Wednesday, April 18, 2007

SF Author's Son Among the Victims at Va Tech

I have not been able to blog about the massacre at Virginia Tech. It's not that I have not been physically able, I just don't have anything profound to say, beyond what I sat in my car saying when I heard the news:

Oh, my God. Oh, my God.

When I first heard, the count of victims was much smaller than it is now. The sadness grows.

I felt an additional connection when I read just now that Jamie Bishop, son of respected speculative fiction author Michael Bishop, was one of the victims killed by the sicko-depraved and twisted-evil piece of human crap who went on rampage after recording his twisted fantasies into his assignments. (I'm not really sympathetic to excuses and explanations yet, maybe in a few months.) I suddenly have this urge to both weep and curse up a storm. Okay...calm, calm.

I extend my heartfelt sympathies to all who are grieving and have suffered loss, which are numerous given the injured and the dead. Condolences to Mr. Bishop, Mrs. Bishop (Jeri), and Jaime's widow, Stefanie Hofer on losing Jamie. I can't even begin to understand what it is to lose your child. I know the pain of loss, but not THAT particular loss. It's got to rank among the absolute worst things in the universe.

You know, this may sound odd, but it is beyond weird to read about this tragedy and think, among the various thoughts when one is boggled by evil, "Oh, I pre-ordered his book." Bizarre. Surreal.

The announcement on Mr. Bishop's website specifically asks for the Bishop family to be remembered in prayers. I think that's the least we can do.

And, at the risk of crossing a line, and yeah, I'm gonna say it anyway, I hope you'll consider ordering A Cross of Centuries as a small sign of support. I figure, we can't sit beside the family and weep with them, or bring them a covered dish, or the things close friends might do, but this is one small thing that say, "Thinking of you."

I'd also like to ask for special prayers for the family of Liviu Librescu, an Israeli engineering and math lecturer, and a survivor of the Holocaust (his family was in a camp and in a ghetto), who was killed after he protected his students' lives by blocking the doorway of his classroom from the gunman. The man did a heroic thing, and I intend to honor him by having his name here and on my lips in petition on behalf of those loved ones he left behind. God rest the honorable soul of Liviu Librescu, a man who clearly learned in the dark days of his youth how wrong it is to do nothing in the face of hateful violence against the innocent. He died on Yom HaShoah, the day in which the Holocaust is remembered in Israel.

And God help us to have the wisdom and guts to do something sooner about the troubled ones the next times, because there are always "next times", instead of just brushing off the warning signs of a troubled mind and soul, many of such signs having been evident in this gunman, whose name I will not utter on the same blog as a hero and a grieving father.


chrisd said...

I saw the young man's tutor on Good Morning America. She saw the signs. She alerted the authorities, counseling etc. But she was not allowed to contact the parents because of privacy laws. Isn't that nice?

So this young man, this ill young man, slipped through the cracks. I'll have to rant about it tomorrow.

Where was everyone?

SolShine7 said...

It's so sad, all of it. I posted a tribute video that I found off of YouTube on my Think Virtue! blog. It will make you want to cry.