Last week’s air tragedy was felt pretty deeply by the people of St. Petersburg. That’s the impression I’ve gotten as I’ve seen the various posts and interactions that have come up in social media this week. Never-mind terrorism or the fact that the victims were just ordinary people on vacation (or that we flew into Pulkovo recently too). The mood has been more one of mourning.

As I said, I got a lot of these impressions through internet interactions. I didn’t go downtown this week or venture beyond our neighborhood, so just by going about everyday life, I didn’t see anything out of the ordinary. But bits and pieces started to come together as I saw what friends and acquaintances were writing.

One friend remarked how we (as residents of St. Petersburg) are all just a few links away from knowing someone who was on the flight (my paraphrase). And she went on to share the Gospel, for those who may be thinking more about Eternity at this point.

Sure enough, I did see some connections come up. A graduate of an orphanage that I used to visit posted a photo of one of her peers, who lost her life. I recognized her as a girl I had probably met at the orphanage or possibly summer camp.

Over the past few days I have sat down and gone through some of the news stories and read more about some of the victims and looked at some photos. Some of the tributes are very touching, and even poems have been written. Russian culture is beautiful in that way.

But I had to stop. I don’t know about you, but I feel that when mourning, it is important to have SOME information. I needed to know more about what happened in order to accept what happened as reality, and to understand (as much as is possible from the sidelines) the depth of loss that loved ones are feeling. But when it comes to the details of death, or intimate final conversations, or graphic photos (sorry), I feel that it borders on sensationalism, voyeurism. And I don’t think we are meant to really fill our heads with horrible images.

The investigation continues, but I don’t know if I want to read the news anymore.

[Originally posted on Liz’s blog On Life in St. Petersburg]