I don’t think I can say anything that hasn’t already been said about Friday’s events. But I can’t stop myself from writing about it. I’m pretty sure The Onion summed up my feelings – and those of millions of others – in this post. F*ck everything, indeed.
I was in the middle of meeting, on Friday, when I got an alert on my phone about what had happened and it took everything I had to not start bawling. I just kept thinking – WHY?
I have been extra emotional this weekend. Every time I see something about Sandy Hook my eyes immediately well with tears. And then yesterday when they released the names and ages of the victims I just lost it. Not that it didn’t already hit home, but it was a different kind of reality. All 20 children in the 1st grade. That could have been my child.
A first grader is full of love, trust, and the eagerness to learn. They pay you in hugs and think of the world of anyone whose shadow they can walk in. The imitate, not to jest, but as flattery. They ask for nothing more than a little attention and an approving look, and they want to know how they can be just like you. They think hot chocolate is the best thing ever and live for the day they can talk to Santa or their grandparents. Really, they aren’t picky.
Even if they didn’t feel an ounce of pain before they died (and I pray they did not) – this monster violated their lives. He took their trust and love and admiration – and that just makes me incredibly, incredibly sad and angry.
And like many others, now I grieve. I grieve for the children (and adults) lost, for a town of destroyed innocence, and for a school that has to rebuild. I grieve for the children who lost their friends and a community that gained an unwanted identity. But most of all, I grieve for the families. Especially for the mothers – many of whom were pregnant at the same time as me, 7 years ago. At least 6 of those 20 children were born within weeks of Braeden (some within days) and I can’t help but put myself in their shoes – even though my sadness, rage, and overwhelming grief is NOTHING compared to theirs.
I want to tell them it will be okay, that there is a reason for such madness and horror, that they will still carry the memories of their children with them — but honestly? At a time like this? It’s bullshit. It’s not OK. There is no reason. And yes, there are always memories, but there should have been more.
There is really no point to this post other than to say I can only hope that we CAN carry on the memories of these 26 people and we can find ways from preventing it from ever happening again. Focusing on stricter gun laws and increasing our support and knowledge of mental health is just the beginning. As I read somewhere else earlier — this HAS to be our tipping point. For now though, I will say many, many, many prayers and offer whatever help I can provide. We can’t undo the past, but damn if we can’t help our future…