Patience Carter, a survivor of the mass shooting in Orlando, turned to writing to help aid the healing process. Her words are powerful and profound. It was her first time in Orlando, and she happened to go to Pulse. Carter, of Philadelphia, talks about having a good time with friends before the massacre erupted. She wrote and read the following poem:
The guilt of feeling grateful to be alive is heavy. Wanting to smile about surviving but not sure if the people around you are ready. As the world mourns the victims killed and viciously slain. I feel guilty about screaming about my legs in pain. Because I could feel nothing like the other 49 who weren’t so lucky to feel this pain of mine. I never thought in a million years that this could happen. I never thought in a million years that my eyes could witness something so tragic. Looking at the souls leaving the bodies of individuals. Looking at the killer’s machine gun throughout my right peripheral. Looking at the blood and debris covered on everyone’s faces. Looking at the gunman’s feet under the stall as he paces. The guilt of feeling lucky to be alive is heavy. It’s like the weight of the ocean’s walls crushing uncontrolled by levies, it’s like being drug through the grass with a shattered leg and thrown on the back of a Chevy. It’s like being rushed to the hospital and told you’re going to make it when you lay beside individuals whose lives were brutally taken. The guilt of being alive is heavy.