The US government has announced that Osama bin Laden is dead and that they are in custody of the body. When I first saw mention of it on FB I was shocked and skeptical, that maybe it was just internet gossip. After quickly verifying the news on CNN.com I must say I don't know what to say.
Like most Americans I remember exactly where I was when the planes hit the World Trade Center, at an early morning screening for a clinical study on asthma. When I heard the news on the radio I couldn't even digest it. World changing events like that have always been difficult for me to grasp. I see the images, I hear the words, and yet my body and mind are frozen trying to process and react to it all.
To me it is hands down the hardest change to accept about becoming an adult. The world is no longer just a word referring abstractly to everything/everyone/every place outside of your own sphere of existence. You become part of it all whether you're willing participant or not. The issues in the paper, on TV, on the radio, and argued over in D.C. and City Hall become your issues. You can't hide from what happens in this world. Sure you can hide under the covers just like when you were a kid but the boogeyman no longer disappears in the morning light.
Osama was just one of the many boogeymen running rampant through our thoughts and fears and in the blink of an eye he was caught. So what do I think? How do I react? I'm relieved that he is dead, that the man hunt is over, and that no troops were hurt in the operation but I'm also very wary of a dead man. Some dead men wield more might and power than they held in life and I'm afraid that Osama might be one of these men. Will a bigger more frightening boogeyman emerge from all this? I want to check under the bed and in the closet to see if he is gone but I'm afraid of what I might find.