Somewhere in Arizona

Somewhere in Arizona, the fiance of Gabriel Zimmerman is devastated.

I don’t know anything about her—her name, her age, her profession. Literally, nothing. But I do know this: When Zimmerman, Gabrielle Giffords’ 30-year-old outreach director, was killed along with five others at a supermarket yesterday, the dreams and goal of his future bride died, too.

That’s the sort of thing that always haunts me about tragedies such as this one. We, as a people, can deal relatively well with the passings of our seniors and, to a certain degree, our long-infirmed. But when someone like Zimmerman—young, energetic, talented—dies suddenly, our systems don’t compute. How can this be? Where’s the sense? No, it’s not possible. Can’t be. No, no, no, no, no, no.

Today, I took my son to the mall. We went to a build-a-robot store, ate at Johnny Rocket’s, rode a ferris wheel (it’s a really good mall). All the while, Giffords’ husband and parents were by her hospital bedside, looking for any inklings of hope. All the while, Dallas Green, the former Major League manager whose granddaughter, 9-year-old Christina Green was killed, was surely wishing it were him, not her. All the while Zimmerman’s fiance was trying to understand. Where is my fiance?

And where do I go from here?