The nation’s heart was broken on Friday when 20 children and 6 adults were heinously gunned down at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Anything I could possibly write on this page feels incredibly small and unhelpful in the wake of this incomprehensible tragedy. As a parent, I am aching for the families of those lost, and for the surviving children who’s lives will never be the same.
In the few days that have past I have heard talk of gun control as well as defending our right to bear arms…
I have heard talk of the importance of recognizing and treating mental illness in our society…
I have heard sensationalists blame the lack of God in our schools…
I have seen the articles on whether or not you should tell your kids… when to tell your kids… how to tell your kids…
I have seen the viral facebook posts (falsely attributed to Morgan Freeman) blaming the fame and glory the media gives to the gunmen of these massacres.
I have seen a nation in shock… reacting with both a detached rawness and a fiery protectiveness.
We naturally want to blame, to analyze… to pinpoint…
because if we don’t, how will we keep it from happening again?
I know of no answers.
I don’t know the depths of those parent’s grief.
I don’t know how to help.
I don’t know how to dwell on it… how to ignore it… how to integrate it.
All I know is I’ve started memorizing the way the muscles move on my child’s face.
I know his limbs seem smaller and more tender than they used to.
I know my son is starting to worry about monsters in the closet, and I will not have him worrying about the ones that are real.
I know that gun control is different than banning.
I know that prayer can be a touchstone… it can console, unify, and lift up. I also know that prayer would not have saved these school children from this gunman and his semiautomatic rifle.
I know that we are capable of intelligent discussion…
I know that many of us are experiencing great empathy…
I know that we are ready for, in the words of our president, “meaningful change”.
I know that talking about, reading about, and dissecting the gunman is easier than feeling the pain of remembering the lost.
I know that printing, reading, and hearing his name over broadcasts is easier than hearing all the names and young ages of most of his victims.
I also know that nothing about this should be easy.
Rest in Peace
Charlotte Bacon, 6
Daniel Barden, 7
Olivia Engel, 6
Josephine Gay, 7
Ana Marquez-Greene, 6
Dylan Hockley, 6
Madeleine Hsu, 6
Catherine Hubbard, 6
Chase Kowalski, 7
Jesse Lewis, 6
James Mattioli, 6
Grace McDonnell, 7
Emilie Parker, 6
Jack Pinto, 6
Noah Pozner, 6
Caroline Previdi, 6
Jessica Rekos, 6
Avielle Richman, 6
Benjamin Wheeler, 6
Allison N. Wyatt, 6
Rachel Davino, 29 (Teacher)
Dawn Hochsprung, 47 (School Principal – died trying to tackle the gunman)
Nancy Lanza, 52 (Mother of gunman)
Anne Marie Murphy, 52 (Teacher)
Lauren Rousseau, 30 (Teacher)
Mary Sherlach, 56 (School Psychologist – died trying to tackle the gunman)
Victoria Soto, 27 (Teacher – shot after hiding her students in the closets and telling the gunman they were all in the gym.)
PS – If you are reading this it’s because you are a regular reader, or someone passed it along to you. I have deliberately left the names of the school, gunman, and town out of the title. Search engine traffic after a tragedy gives my stomach a bad feeling.