Friday, December 14, 2012

When There Are No Words

How do we, as parents, comprehend what happened today in Newtown, Connecticut? How can a parent begin to imagine what it must be like to have lost a child because a heavily armed gunman entered their elementary school after killing his mother and then murdered TWENTY children and 6 adults? Honestly, there are just no words that can begin to explain the pain and sorrow this town must be experiencing.

And yet, I feel compelled to make some shred of sense out of what seems like senseless tragedy. Many people are calling for stricter gun laws, some are focused on the fact that there needs to be more help for the mentally ill and still others are crying out to stop politicizing the event. It is all reaction to the unimaginable. 

As my children came home, laughing, dirty and filled with stories of a day of fun at school, I felt a sharp pain knowing how many have lost so much. My hope is that none of you were directly affected by this event. My hope is that all of your children are too young to know even a portion of what happened. My hope is that your children are asleep in their beds, warm and safe, as I write this note.

It's been a terrible day here in the United States, and especially in Connecticut. But I think everyone around the world feels the pain of those mourning in Newtown tonight. This tragedy will forever change those who survived it, those who were the first responders, those who were connected in some way to each family affected. My prayers go out to all of you. 

If there is even a shred of something good to come from this, let it be that we each stay mindful of the love we have for our children, remembering that all we love could be gone in a moment. Remember this, not in a morbid way, but rather as a dose of reality that sometimes there just isn't another chance to give one more hug, one more "I love you", one more moment to connect. 

Love those children of yours. Show that love to them, even when it's hard. Don't waste a minute of your precious time together. 

* For all who have asked, the sculpture in the photo above is called Memorial Of Unborn Children by Martin Hudack of Slovokia. Although it was specifically created to honor women who have lost children through miscarriage, I think it captures the grief anyone feels who has lost a child, no matter the circumstance.
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