The Horror Is The Point

Linda Sharp
4 min readOct 12, 2023
My precious granddaughter

I’m sitting here rocking my granddaughter. After giggles while eating her bottle because I was playing with her feet, she hit air in her sucking and yeeted it away. She then tucked herself into my elbow and is sleeping the sleep of a baby who knows she is loved and safe and cherished.

These rocking chair times are some of my favorites. They have been since she came into this world 11 months ago. Just her, just me. We listen to BTS, I talk to her, she touches my face, and I fall into her eyes every. single. time.

I see her promise. I see my daughter, her mother. I see the reflection of my time with her. I see her tomorrows.

What I cannot see is her gone from my life. That is a heartbreak, a horror I cannot even contemplate. She may be only 11 months old, but I cannot imagine life without her in it. Like my own children, she has become how I breathe, how my heart beats, how I greet each day, how I lay my head to rest each night.

Looking at her I cannot help but think about the pure anguish of the parents who have watched their babies, their toddlers, their children be slaughtered in Israel and Gaza since Saturday. As a parent, I honestly believe I would wish for death immediately so as to not have to endure another second without them, subjected to the horrific memories of their deaths flashing on repeat in my mind. As a parent, that would be a fate worse than terroristic death.

I see Marlowe in the eyes, the faces of every picture of children coming out of that area. And I simply cannot find big enough words to capture the pure evil at play. The tiniest carried dead from piles of rubble. The toddlers found massacred in the kibbutz areas. The ones lucky enough to still be alive, having horrific memories embedded into their psyches. What they are enduring, should they live, will become the filter through which they will take every breath, parse every speech, gauge every interaction, and will cement how little trust they have in the world around them.

I want you to look at the following pictures. I am not labeling which side of the line they come from. Israel, Gaza, it matters not. These children have no idea. And their humanity, their value, their reality should not be colored by where they live, or in some of these cases, where they have died.

That child could be your child. That anguish on his face? The same you would experience. Their love for their children, their nieces, their nephews — NO DIFFERENT.

If you cannot see your child in those children, you are not looking honestly. They do not deserve the nightmare in which they are living. They deserve all the tomorrows your child has in store.

She was only six months old. What did she do to deserve this?

This child will never forget, never escape this nightmare. The psychic wounds will never fully heal even if he survives what is still to come.

And then there is this one. Look at that tiny hand. And then look at this one…

The difference? One’s life has been stolen from this world. The other? My granddaughter’s. Two children, from far sides of the planet. So loved, so cherished, so wanted. The child on the other side of the world is no less important, no less possessed of value or humanity or promise than my Marlowe. The only difference is that life’s lottery had one born in a terminal battleground and the other into a suburb of the USA.

What’s happening there is horrific. And no amount of death is going to fix any of it or bring a single child back to life.

But then, the horror is the point. This evil must be stopped.

Now you’ll have to excuse me. M is waking up and ready to play again. And I am ready to love her even harder than an hour ago when she fell asleep.


“The death of human empathy is one of the earliest and most telling signs of a culture about to fall into barbarism,” — Hannah Arendt.



Linda Sharp

Author, columnist, blogger. Don’t Get Me Started and Transparent Trans Parent blogs