A Mother's Response to the Death of bin Laden
My husband woke me up at 10:51 pm Sunday night, May 1,2011. He poked his head through our bedroom door and said, "Osama bin Laden is dead! They killed him!" Just as quickly, he was gone. I sat upright in bed, completely in a daze between a dreamworld and the real world, not sure for a moment whether what he said was even true.
But then my heart started to race as I realized the implications of his drive-by newsflash. First and foremost in my sleep-deprived head, I thought, "What the hell did he wake me up for?!" and envisioned hours of insomnia as I tried to return to slumber. (Since my son was born 21 months ago, sleep has been a huge struggle for me and for him.)
As I lay in bed totally wide awake, thank you dear husband, I thought about how excited America must be and how so many Americans are certainly celebrating one man's death. Sure enough, when I checked Facebook and Twitter this morning, my news feed and timeline comprised 99% elated, even cocky, status updates. Of that 99%, probably 80% left a bad taste in my mouth. I mean, given the 10-year search for this man, how cocky can we really be? According to FastCompany.com, 22% of Americans celebrated the death of bin Laden.
I'm a relatively new mother. Thoughts of my son and what the world is like now versus what it will be like as he grows consume me. I'm sure I don't have to tell you how scared it makes me to read the news. What also frightens me, however, is how the world reacts to the news.
Let me state, I am as relieved as everyone around me that Bin Laden is no longer a threat. SO relieved. Yet I find it difficult to celebrate any man's death. There, I said it. I can only celebrate this news so much before I experience guilt and shame. I'm thinking of my son, always, and thinking about what values I want to teach him. I'm just not sure I want him to see me dancing around cheering at the death of another person, no matter how vile that person was in his life.Continued on the next page