She grasps for metaphors to capture the family’s loss. “It’s like the world crashing in. It’s like a nuclear bomb went off on my couch,” she said. “It’s like someone hit ‘pause’ in my life. I just saw him, and I will never see him again.”I really felt for her and the family's loss. I also sensed that she was searching for just the right comparison so that the reporter and, by extension, we the readers might adequately understand her and her family's tremendous pain.
While the reporters for the article state that Ms. Washington "grasps for metaphors," the examples cited are similes. Her brother's murder is like the world crashing in; like a nuclear bomb; like someone hitting pause on her life.
I've spent considerable time on this site focusing on what poets do with words and language. However, maybe literary scholars and poets should also do more to consider what survivors of gun violence and the families of victims are doing. Their struggles to get us to understand what their pain and devastation is like deserve our attention.
• A notebook on gun violence
• Similes and metaphors in the Darren Wilson testimony