I’m at a loss for words. Boston’s my city—it’s where I was born, where I grew up, and where I go to college today. I’ve been to the Boston marathon my whole life.

If I hadn’t overslept, I’d have been at the finish line of the marathon yesterday. I know that, because that’s where I was supposed to meet up with my friends who, thank God, were standing safely just between both of the blasts. They’re fine, as fine as they can be in this situation. They aren’t injured, but they saw the blasts and the resulting carnage. They had to move through the crush and the chaos of the people, terrified in a major American city, without cell-phone access, trying to find each other.

I’m not sure how they’re going to be, but when they got home we sat together, watching the news. Then we turned off the news, and didn’t know what to do. Finally, we decided on getting some Indian food. Then we watched Game of Thrones.

I’m not sure why we did this; it doesn’t sound poetic or cool, or important, or even right. But, in that situation, that’s what we did. We moved through the motions, numb, but warming. We talked a little. We hung a little. A few of us made quiet jokes for quiet laughs. And we slowly got better. We still aren’t better. I don’t know when we will be. But even from this distance, typing this dazed, I know we will be.

Boston is a college town, and it occurs to me that many of our readers might be in similar situations themselves, either having been at the marathon or having to worry about dozens of friends and family members like I did, and so I thought I’d share that with you. What happened yesterday was a tragedy, a violent cowardly act that killed, wounded, and distressed a city and a nation together. But ultimately, we are people. We are people with the amazing capacity to care about each other, to help, and to simply live. We sat together eating curry and watching T.V. like the people we always were, because we still are the people we’ve always been. We’re dazed, numb, hurt, sad, angry, or confused, but this act of violence imposed upon us doesn’t define us; only we have that power and that privilege.

Please take care of yourself. Get some sleep, eat some food, shower, be with people if you can. Open yourself up to talk to people who’d like to talk, and talk yourself if you’d like to. If you can, reach out to people. You don’t know how people are handling this from afar, and, if you can, accept being reached out to. Healing, alone or together, is important. Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t have it in you to talk or to help or if you feel that you aren’t reacting the “right” way. Just be what you are, do what you must, and remember you aren’t alone.

We won’t forget this, because we can’t. But we’ll recover, together, because that’s what we do.