Christina Grimmie and Orlando: Trying to Make Sense of the Senseless

I’m having anxiety. And it started with Christina Grimmie.

I have to type all of this out because I don’t really know what else to do with it. The recent death of Christina Grimmie, 22-year-old The Voice contestant and YouTube star, plus the mass shooting at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando… they’re bothering me. Other deaths and shootings obviously also bother me, but these are really irking me for some reason. I’m disturbed.

I think I’m disturbed because I keep trying to make sense of it and I can’t. I’m trying to figure out why all those people died and I didn’t, nor did any of us. Why specifically did they have to die? What the hell did they do?

I didn’t listen to Christina Grimmie very often, but I did watch her videos from time to time. She seemed like a perfectly normal, happy, kind, talented person — just innocently posting videos and building a career. And someone pulled a trigger and it’s over. This living, breathing thing that was capable of thoughts, actions, and emotions is now just an inanimate object. Whatever magical process science hasn’t figured out yet that is the difference between being alive and not alive on a cellular level stopped for her. It stopped for 49 other people in Orlando. Just because someone decided to pull a small, single trigger. I can’t fathom that.

I saw a Snapchat video of a woman moments before she died in the club confused as gunshots fired in the background. I saw texts from a man saying to his mother “I’m gonna die.” It bothers me so much and I hate to be watching this stuff and reading these articles but it’s like I can’t stop. I’m thirsty for answers about why this happens.

But what’s worst of all is I know the answer already. It’s just too depressing to admit to myself.

The answer is there is no reason why this happens. The reality is that innocent people get shot every day. This was just a publicized cluster and that’s likely why I’m so distraught over it. But there is no real reason why this happened specifically to those innocent people and not to me or anyone else. I’m not special, I can’t thank anyone for the gift of still being alive. Any of us could walk into any nightclub and there could be a mass shooting and that’d be the end. The only reason why I’m alive right now is simply because I’m not dead.

I don’t believe in God or religion. I respect people who do, and I actually used to be very religious, but I don’t have that in me anymore. How am I supposed to believe that we were all put here for a purpose when 50 people had their lives taken away in seconds without any purpose at all? And how selfish is it of anyone, even if you’re religious, to now say “God was watching me” when he clearly wasn’t watching over those people?

I think the phrases “God works in mysterious ways” and “They’re safer in heaven” are just cop-outs. They’re just made up answers to the questions that don’t have any concrete answers. They’re hopeful. And believe me, I think in some cases ignorance is absolutely bliss. I’d love to be able to say that everything happens for a reason and all those people are in a much better place, a place that we’ll all go to someday. But I don’t have that faith; none of that adds up to me from a logical standpoint. So instead I sit here frustrated with reality.

The only thing that brings me peace for those people is that once it’s over, it’s really over. When you’re dead, your worries about being shot are gone, your pain is gone, and you can’t ask why it happened. Death is nothingness of the mind and body. So I, and hopefully close friends and family of the victims, can feel a sense of joy in knowing that the unfathomable torture of being in that night club is over for them. And Christina Grimmie doesn’t ever once have to ask the question “Why me?” while the rest of us insatiably ask “Why her?”