I can’t even write the words… Even days later.
I don’t want to devote one bit of space to tragedy.
But those little ones and their protectors at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut were the world to many people… how can I not acknowledge what happened?
Part of me wants to hide and never look at pictures of the lives lost. Never read the names.
But as a mom, I can’t help but commit to looking… and speaking each name.
In due time.
Each very precious life… each name was chosen with excitement. With hope.
These families want their babies and loved ones remembered. Not for how they died, but for who they were. Their giggles. Their smiles. Their hugs. Their wit. Their charm. Their hearts.
I feel it is part of my duty as a mom to someday look and read each name… to honor their memory and their families that love them.
Their lives were short, but they will never be forgotten. They cannot be forgotten.
I am speechless.
I go to sleep praying for the families. My first waking thoughts are for the families. I find myself having to gasp for air at unexpected moments throughout the day…
I pray for the surviving children and their parents, the teachers, and the school staff… their minds. Their hearts. Their future.
I can’t stop thinking about my friends who work in schools… Those who must return today. Those who had to and be strong for our children the entire day Friday. Though I know their own hearts were breaking.
I learned the fullness of the tragedy from my friend Lisa on Friday. We found ourselves in a public space, paralyzed… weeping. She works at a school… she is a main artery for that school. I know my dear friend would do anything and everything to protect a child.
I think about the children. And I think about those who work in education daily . Those who, in the worst case scenario, would be the ones to step in front of danger and sure death to protect my children.
What happened in Connecticut Friday is the exception and not the rule – praise be… But last Friday, an elementary school DID experience that exception.
I am shaken.
I am afraid.
I am leaving all politics aside.
And closing comments. I am just too raw.
Instead, take a few moments to write a note to a loved one. Or write a thank you to someone who has blessed your own child.
But if you need to share your grief with someone, or just need to say something, please do: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The holiday season is already filled with sentiments of joy and thankfulness and kindness and generosity.
We need them even more now.
Even in sorrow… we need joy. I challenge each of us to move forward with extra kindness and extra patience. We don’t know what burden each bears. That person who crowded, or scoffed, or cut you off… who knows. Pretend they are broken instead of rude. Imagine they are hurting, or weary… Extend grace beyond what seems reasonable. We just don’t know what tomorrow brings and how far our own reactions will reach. We will never know how far an undeserved or unexpected smile given today will go.
With a heavy but hopeful heart,
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