Or maybe we're looking for some detail that will make it turn out to be not so bad as we had thought. Some tiny panacea for our global pain.
Well, this time it was so bad, and no amount of detail is going to fix things. Knowing more about the tragedy is not going to help me deal with it, and trying to imagine how it must have been is not going to improve matters. There's no common quota of tears - by shedding my own I'm not helping someone else shed less. Everyone is crying.
I'm only looking at the news once or twice a day, and not clicking on a headline unless it really has new information. It was only last night that I saw the names and the ages and the fact that they were first-graders, and as soon as I did, I scrolled quickly on because I couldn't immerse myself in those details. They were all Dash. They were all my son the first-grader. People keep saying "They were babies," but because he's my eldest I know that they were big kids, with new teeth, and bright ideas, and responsibilities, and far more understanding of the world than we give them credit for.
And I'm not going to tell my first-grader about what happened, if I can possibly help it. He'll say "Could that happen in my school?" and then I'd have to lie and say "No, they have procedures and checks and sign-ins so that people can't come in if they're not supposed to." And then he'd say "Well, didn't they have those things at that school?"
What can we do? We can demand gun control, we can campaign for better mental health services. And we can turn off the news - not because we don't care and not because we're unfeeling, but because life has to go on, where life is there to do it.
Most people are good. Most people are healthy. Most people are sane. We have to keep believing that. It has to be true.
I'll be offline for a while because we're travelling tomorrow. Back soon with cheerful stories of flying with children and holiday hi-jinks.