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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting...Reflection.


Last Friday began as any other Friday.  People prepared for their work and school day, said goodbye to their loved ones as they ventured to their places of employment and educational institutions.  Nobody could have imagined the horror that would soon transpire.  Without warning or apparent reason, a young man by the name of Adam Lanza, having already killed his mother by shooting her four times, shot his way into Sandy Hooks Elementary School in Newtown, CT and killed 20 children and 6 school employees before taking his own life. 

I didn’t find out about this school shooting until early Saturday, but as a mother and a human being the news broke my heart.  I sobbed as I read the horrific details and I couldn’t help but think of what that community and the families of the victims were going through and how could they survive such a tragedy.  I had a confusion of feelings as I went between sadness, anger, shock and just plain outrage that something so senseless could happen to children at such a young age without any reason, explanation or warning.  What could possibly bring a man to snuff the life out of so many innocent children and their educators, as well as his own mother?  The sad fact is that we may never know, and knowing won’t undo what’s been done, or bring back those that have been lost…they are gone…forever.
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All I wanted in that moment was to talk to my son (who was at his father’s for the weekend).  I needed to tell him I loved him.  I wanted to hold him, knowing so many parents in the Newtown area would be unable to do so with their babies that night and my heart ached for their losses.  What if this tragedy had happened in my community?  What if it had been my child, my niece or nephews, my child’s friends and classmates?  So many thoughts ran though me.

As a parent, as a person, as a citizen my heart has hurt for the Newtown community as they’ve begun laying these senseless victims to rest in the highly publicized funerals, and have wondered how I’d feel knowing that my pain and loss was on display for the entire country through the media.  Would I feel supported by the outpouring of concern or would I feel violated by the lack of privacy in that awful time in my life and in the lives of my family and friends as we mourned over our lost loved ones?

Despite my queries, a few things I knew with certainty.  Life is short and we are without a crystal ball to foresee the future.  We are often quick to anger, long to resent, cautious to love, and slow to forgive.  What if someone is holding onto grudges from past mistakes when something like this happens?  Parents angry at their children for decisions they’ve made in the ignorance of youth, or adults holding onto resentments of mistakes or decisions made by their parents in their rearing?  Any of the 28 victims (including the shooter and his mother) of the Sandy Hooks Elementary School massacre will not have a second chance, a chance to say goodbye, or to apologize to loved ones, and loved ones must go on with any unsettled business forever remaining unfinished.  Don’t wait till tomorrow to open your heart to love and forgiveness because there is no guarantee that tomorrow will come for everyone.  Be quick to love, be quick to hug those you love and to tell them you do.  As humans we are all imperfect, none of us blameless.  Forgive the sins of the past, and love in the present and the future we’re lucky enough to enjoy with the ones who matter most to us.  To all my loved ones, be you family or friend, know you are loved and accepted…flaws and all.
 

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21 comments:

  1. Beautiful post, Blondie. This was indeed the most horrific event that I've ever had the misfortune of witnessing.

    I was at work when I received the news. All that was initially reported was the loss of a teacher but then the numbers kept rising. I couldn't bring myself to continue my work.

    I don't have any children, so I can't begin to imagine how parents feel about this tragedy, but hopefully something this heinous never happens again.

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    1. Thanks Chiz. I think what makes it so bad are the ages of the children. As a parent, it's mind blowing to think you could send your child off to school, somewhere you believe to be safe and necessary and something like this happen. It's just unimaginable, yet really happened. Makes on stop and re-evaluate relationships with loved ones.

      It has now sparked serious debates and feuds on mental illness from all sides of the spectrum. You've got parents speaking up about what it's like to be the parent of a child suffering from mental illness, sufferers speaking up about all sorts of topics, then the whole healthcare access issue. This on top of all the gun restriction controversy (though last time I checked it isn't the guns that kill people but the people). Maybe some good will come out of this horrific time when it's all said and done.

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  2. You had me in tears with this post Blondie. I watched the funerals on the news and my heart broke. Such a needless act.
    The gun debate will continue to rage on but that still won't identify the people that are more likely to carry on such atrocities and that in itself, is a hard task to carry out.

    In England and to my knowledge, something like this has only happened once in March 13, 1996 Dunblane, Scotland. But our hearts still go out to those across the pond. How can people across the globe, not be affected but something as tragic as this?

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    Replies
    1. I don't know how anyone with a heart could not be affected by this tragedy, parent or not, on this continent or another. It's hard to imagine taking the lives of so many individuals, let alone so many young children. I don't know how that community will heal from this.

      As for the gun debate, there are so many guns already here and easily available that putting tighter restrictions on guns will do little to deter the criminals but give them an unfair advantage over the law abiding citizens. I am a gun owner as are most of the people I know, but none of us are going around shooting people (neither are our guns).

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  3. I was at work when I heard of the news. I sat in my office and cried throughout the rest of the day. This whole thing has shaken me to the core. The final straw, if you will.

    This is the very reason I don't watch the news. It's always so full of monstrous things that I can't bear to watch. But the news still finds me in my facebook and twitter feeds. Try as I may to live under a rock, the horrifying news finds me. And every time it does, a piece of me dies, replaced only by anger.

    I'm sick of hearing all the gun debates, the placing of blame on God, healthcare, etc. It makes me sick. Forget all that bullshit! What about the victims and their families? They should be the primary focus, not gun laws!

    And the media...oh don't get me started on those filthy vultures! They are just as sick as the demented people they do reports on!

    Just light a candle and pray!

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    Replies
    1. I'm with you, Dan. I avoid watching the news because it's hard to think there are such monsters in the world (which is why I didn't find out about this till Saturday).

      Amen on the focus. One thing that struck and hurt me even as they focused on the victims was the memorial where they lit only 26 candles. 28 people died. Ok, so don't light one for the shooter, I can understand that even if I don't necessarily agree (his soul needs all the help it can get), but what about his mother? Just seems pretty unchristianlike.

      We as a nation have had so many tragedies, from weather to accidents to violent crime, but this one took on such a dark cloud because of the intended victims.

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  4. Thanks for your thoughtful words on this painful subject. Maybe this tragedy will spur the change in our attitudes about guns that is so desperately needed.

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  5. I find the news really hard to watch too. So many completely horrific things going on in this world. I just want to pull the covers over my head. This was a beautiful post, Blondie. You put the whole thing into words so well.

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