Tragedies risk the chance of becoming a fetish. A hotspot for selfies, one line rants on social media, or forced feelings of connectedness to fit in with the latest mourning fad. For that reason, I debated typing “1912 S Orange Ave, Orlando, FL 32806” in Apple maps.

What did I aim to get out of visiting PULSE Nightclub.

I didn’t know.

June 12th 

When I logged on to Twitter that Sunday morning and saw the news I didn’t feel for awhile. Another shooting in America. We’ll “mourn,” I thought. The media cycle will frantic. President Obama will compose himself for yet another speech about the need for common sense gun reform. NRA slaves will call him names. Our elected officials will disappoint. Then life, as it always does, will normalize.


I forgot 

Like many Americans, I followed the news cycle before it disolved. Courageous doctors. Survivors. Family.

I didn’t want to forget. I tried to memorize names. I needed to remember these stories because those 49 lives matter.

Then I forgot.

Here I am in Orlando 

A few weeks ago, I stumbled upon a blog post on Rendi Vallve’s Facebook page. Don’t Turn My Tragedy Into Your Trendit reads.

PULSE Nightclub, it conveys, is not a tourist destination:

In this sense, a selfie at Pulse is wildly inappropriate. Pulse isn’t about you. Pulse isn’t a subject to share haphazardly. A visit to Pulse right now is about remembering the dead, supporting the wounded and reflecting on the evil that was perpetrated there. 

Josh, I agree

The memory of those 49 human lives lost is not about us. It is about those beautiful souls who went out for a night of community, fun, dancing, drinking, etc… They deserve our respect, love, and remembrance.

A visit to PULSE is a lesson in humanity.

There are flags from people near and far. People who come in families, including young children. I saw couples holding each other in comfort. Solo observers, like me, who took in the writings on the black tarp with heart to hand as tears streamed. I saw an embrace between two women who I imagine felt overwhelmed with emotion.

I also saw a group of four teenage girls who walked up, took snapchats, then walked away after two minutes.


Stay. Walk the wall. Read the beautiful notes. Pick up the ziplock bag messages or a carved stone. Notice the words from foreigners who give us their love. Say a prayer. Leave something.

Do more than take a selfie or snapchat.

Walk away having contributed your heart to the memory of the 49 human beings and remind those who have forgotten that love wins.


The Magic Heart by Tricia O’Neill Politte left among items.

2 thoughts on “PULSE

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