I will leave it to others to speculate on the factors that led to the massacre at Utoeya Island and the bombing in central Oslo. There is plenty there for people to discuss.
For now, I just want to own what happened in Norway as if those young dead were my kids.
My frame of reference when it comes to teenagers is as a former secondary teacher. When I think of the numbers dead — the equivalent of nearly five classes, a whole teaching load, lost abruptly to a single murderer — I feel ill. The bile rises up. My heart wails.
It is not just that there are so many. They were young. Not just young, but politically active. Engaged with the world and looking to be citizens within it. I dare not touch the grief that Norwegians feel over the loss of such promising lives.
All I can do is to witness and honour. And to stand fast with them.