Robbin Bruce: Sometimes images are better left unseen

  • Thursday, March 21, 2013

This morning like most Wednesday mornings I pretty well had a column ready to put to paper. After my coffee and walking my little buddy I sat down and cranked my computer up. While it was warming up, I started flipping the channels; itís getting a little older now and takes a while to get where it will start half working like it ought to. I usually take this time to figure how to start a column, seems like the two hardest things about writing are how to start and how to finish, the middle just kind of takes care of it self. Well just as I was to start on what I had planned I heard the lady talking on CNN, about what somebody is trying to get released to the public. For some reason some guy wants to have the pictures of the kids at Newtown released so they can print them, and my only question is why?

Yep, you heard me right, he wants to show the pictures of those kids, those poor children who were massacred at Newtown. Havenít those parents suffered enough? Havenít we as a nation suffered enough? Have we as a nation, has our insatiable curiosity gotten to the point where now we want to look upon the broken bodies of children? Have we as a people gotten to the point that we have become that uncaring to the suffering of the parents? I can only really speak for myself when I say I havenít.

Unfortunately in my life I have seen the death. I saw my father and mother in the moments after they left this world. I would not like to have photographs of those terrible moments splashed across the front page of a paper. Much less on the Internet, where a sick individual could gaze upon them. These were two of the most horrific moments of my life, and I donít wish to share those images with anyone.

You donít think these images can stick with you the rest of your life, trust me they can. Many years ago when I was a child, I saw death for my first time. We were riding a school bus down a dirt road and just as we were to cross an old wooden bridge, there on the bridge was a sight that has stuck in my mind like it was yesterday. A young girl was standing on the bridge screaming as if she was in convulsions. As I looked down at her as the bus passed, there in the water below was a face, a face looking back at me even though it was under the water. A young woman had committed suicide. And all these years later as I look down that road when I pass it, I still see those two images, the girl on the bridge, and the face in the water. I wouldnít wish those memories on anyone.

And now they want to release the images of the children of Newtown. Do you remember that day; do you remember where you were when you first heard of the massacre there? We were at a doctorís office in Florence, when the images were first flashed on the TV screen. And as we waited for the appointment we watched with the whole nation, praying it wouldnít be as horrific as they were first claiming it was. We watched it while we waited, we listened to it on the radio on the way home, and on the TV again when we got home. Over and over in my mind I asked, who could do such a thing to little children? This couldnít be real. But the images kept coming.

The mind is a funny thing. In a sense itís like its own movie camera. The images of our life play over and over in our head, all the good times and unfortunately the bad. These images are burned there like the negative of a camera, though sometimes they leave us. But as we flip through our memories like pictures in an old box they come back to us, but time has a way of dimming the sad ones. But when they do return, somehow we are able to push them back to the furthest corners of our mind. But do we really want to take that ability away from those grieving parents by having them splashed across a TV screen?

Have we as a society really lost that much of our soul?

You can reach Robbin Bruce by e-mail at robbinbruce@yahoo.com.

Opinions that appear on this page in Letters to the Editor or in columns do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper.

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