I think that when tragedy strikes there is a very clear dividing line about those to whom the tragedy directly involves and the rest of us.
A few days ago several officers served by my old dispatch center were shot, one fatally. I'm devastated. I'm feeling even worse that I wasn't there to help. I wish daily that there is something I could do to really give aid to those unsung heroes.
In all of this I'm feeling distinctly 'former'. Even if I'd stayed with the dispatch center up until the day we moved, I'd have missed this moment. I wasn't meant to be there. That doesn't change my sorrow at both being outside that community and helpless to alleviate their pain.
I think one of the most difficult things about moving is reestablishing the network of friends and like-minded locals. It's something I put great effort into every new place we go. Often I find that one of two of the people I meet in a particular location are life-long friends to me.
In the weeks before I find that community, that anchoring friend, I'm quite lonely and sometimes a bit depressed about the new location.
Michael has yet to experience this with me and he's quite concerned despite my protestations that this is simply my process. Every single move is nearly identical but similarity doesn't make them easier.
I'm sure I'll come out the other side. I'm sure I'll find friends and community here. I have some already and a great in-law family that are softening the blow. But for these few moments, watching the images of an officer laid to rest with his young family left behind, of a community I miss coming together to honor their police force, I'm feeling a particularly stinging sadness and loneliness. Instead of berating myself for this or feeling like I "shouldn't" be sad, I'm going to be sad, live with it, and make sure that I continue living and unpacking boxes, loving my husband in the meantime and soon I'll look around and wonder where the sadness has gone.