Like everyone, I have been reflecting quite a bit after Friday and the horrific tragedy that struck Newtown, CT. And I am at a loss for words for describing something so terrible; the pain that community, those families and loved ones are dealing with is just...unfathomable. It is, and will remain, impossible for us to adequately assess the level of loss they feel.
I walked around Friday feeling like the wind was knocked out of me as I attempted to make sense of what had happened. I had a hard time talking about it without having to change the subject. It was not until I finally got a hold of my mom after leaving work (she had been in a movie and hadn't heard the news) that I broke. I stood there crying on the sidewalk, surrounded by people rushing by, as my heart flooded with empathy. How could something so awful happen? And why were such young children involved? What could have possibly motivated or possessed someone to carry out such unthinkable violence? The innocence was not only robbed from the victims, but of those who survived - those who witnessed such unimaginable evil and those who now must try and make sense of a life with that memory and pain. How on earth can someone pick up those pieces? And for those of us just watching the tragic events through a TV or computer screen, how are we to respond? Aside from prayer or supporting change of what we hope to provide more preventative measures, we simply must proceed with our lives. Are we to proceed in sadness? In anger? In hate? Viewing all strangers as untrustworthy enemies? Seems like it would be easy to.
This time next week, many of us will be surrounded by loved ones. And even though we're on the heels of these shootings in CT when we might just want to shut off the rest of the world and focus on those in our immediate life, I'm trying to remember that we must be mindful of those less fortunate. I'm not just talking about people who cannot afford to put gifts beneath the tree...I'm talking about people who are dealing with pain, people who - for whatever reason - have lost the important relationships in their lives, people who are fighting a mental illness, people who are hard to love, people who - whether we understand it or not - are battling emotional demons. Perhaps you know a way to show them love even if it might not necessarily be convenient. These are the people who really need it...often, it is the lack of love and attention that eventually allows these same people to lose hope of something good...that eventually clouds their hearts with evil. We live in a world where the unfortunate truth is that evil will inevitably exist no matter what laws are in place to fight it. And so we are left, yet again, wondering how to proceed after evil strikes. The only way I can think of? To flood this world with the exact opposite - by showing and celebrating more compassion, more hope, more good, more love.
I learned on this blog that we can send a letter of support to the school and parents here:
Sandy Hook Elementary School 12 Dickenson Drive Newtown, CT 06482
until next time,