Overheard amongst recent chatter of local Bostonians is the phrase, “I can’t believe it’s been a year!” Yet it has indeed been a year since the Boston community and the country was overwhelmed with a sense of disbelief and sadness that terror struck our city.
Many of us living in the Boston area also found ourselves in disbelief of the six degrees of separation (or less) that we had with those most affected by the Boston Marathon bombings: the victims, the runners, the M.I.T. community, the City of Watertown…the suspects.
On April 15, 2013, Elizabeth Grady School of Massage Therapy instructors and students were volunteering their time to the Boston Children’s Hospital Marathon Team. This had become an annual event for the Elizabeth Grady School, and everyone was excited to be a part of Marathon Monday.
I remember vividly receiving a text from one our teachers reporting that a bomb had gone off. The Elizabeth Grady staff and students were in a hotel close by providing free massage to runners as they crossed the famous Boston Marathon finish line.
My first concern was the safety of our staff and students. My next questions were, like so many others, “What happened and why?”
The days and weeks following were filled with more questions while listening to the accounts of students, colleagues, friends, and family about their direct or indirect experiences surrounding the bombing and capture of the suspects. It was surreal.
Elizabeth Grady students and staff were locked down with the rest of the city for a few hours following the bombings. All the while, they calmly and respectfully continued to massage runners in the silent aftermath. As Director of the Elizabeth Grady School, I was, and remain today, so proud that they played a seemingly small yet powerful part in beginning the healing process so soon after the injury.
With the many times this year I’ve overheard the phrase “I can’t believe…” in respect to the Boston Marathon tragedy, I am also reminded that it is sometimes difficult to fathom the resilient nature of humankind. I am inspired how we are capable of transforming tragedy into triumph.
The Elizabeth Grady School massage therapy instructors and students will proudly be providing massage once again at the 118th Boston Marathon on Monday April 21, 2014.