The tragedy of Sandy Hook manages to get worse and worse as the stories unfold and the victims become human; someone’s son, daughter, sister, brother, mother, best friend, etc. Their personal stories of courage, the sounds of their names, and the unfathomable comprehension of their ages is simply overbearing. So what do we do with this? How do our minds process such profound violence? How do we mend the sadness in our own hearts? As a country we must all be responsible for our sisters and brothers in Sandy Hook. Protected by shock, their grieving process has not begun. However, once the shock wears off the overwhelming grief will set in. There will be no way to avoid it, but hopefully one day the grieving will turn to healing.
So what can we do as a nation to help? For people who have their own personal tragedy and loss, this massacre adds to their ache and can bring up personal painful emotions. Yet many people struggle with everyday life challenges, the holiday season can be stressful and difficult as is. But even for those who are celebrating and peaceful, the event in Sandy Hook blankets all of us with a sense of hopelessness and helplessness.
When I heard the news I worried about how it would affect my twelve year old son who is a sensitive child. I did not worry much about my older children until I received a text from my eighteen year old son reading, “turn on the news, I am so shaken.” Everyone is affected by what happened. Everyone needs a hug and to feel loved right now. This happened to the children of our nation and we must come together now to love and heal one another.
In honor of those killed we must live a more loving life. We must be more patience with one another and ourselves, we must forgive any one who is asking for forgiveness, we must be kinder in our tones of voice towards the family members we are fortunate to talk to each day, we must say, “I love you” again and again, and hug with our arms and our heart. We must heal ourselves through love so we can be strong as a nation to heal those directly affected by the event in Sandy Hook.
We hurt now, we feel sad, that is okay, we all should.We need to cry as a nation, love as a nation, and heal as a nation. And we must never forget.
Thoughts on what can do:
Bleed: There is no getting out of this one. No matter how badly we wish it to go away, it won’t; it happened, it is happening. Denying the pain only adds to the stress that manifests in unhealthy ways. Allow your emotions to bleed, talk, cry, and scream if you want to, but don’t let your feelings fester inside of you.
Write: Research shows that when we write there is an interaction between the hand and mind that reduces anxiety and stress. Also, in moments like today when we are all feeling exposed and raw, vulnerable, and open, our priorities become clearer, our thoughts are driven by love and compassion and not social pressure. Write down the priorities you feel today and reread them when you feel lost and out of sorts. The ego is silent today and your heart speaks clearly, write it down.
Believe in the Power of Human Kindness: Human kindness is the greatest healer in times of sorrow. Believe in it, open yourself up to receiving it. Let others know you are hurting, let them love you. And, most importantly, understand that each and every one of us has the power to help one another with simple acts of human kindness; from the strangers we meet in the store to the child walking through our doors after school. Make a commitment to yourself that in the honor of those killed you will open your heart and let the power of love and kindness in you flow throughout your world. It is your God given privilege to help others in need. Be proud of your abilities to do so and do it.
For You, I Wish
There is a sickness in the stomach, a hole so vast that only the hole in the heart can
contend with it. A strange silence echoes the air, yet people are talking, their mouths
are moving. My world has changed; I am not ready for it to change. I need to stop
the madness, yet I do not know how. I scream, but no one hears me. The pain chokes
me; I cannot breathe. It hurts to breathe. Please, just one more minute, give me back
one more minute. I need to touch your skin, hold you, smell you. I need to tell you
how much I love you. Tell you I am sorry, to thank you, and tell you what I did today.
I was not ready to say goodbye, for you to leave me; why must I? Oh please God,
give me one more minute, please just one… Today you said goodbye, farewell to
your loved one, a part of you, a loss of innocence. I will not tell you he is in a better
place or that it is meant to be. I will not applaud the time you had together. These
sentiments may hold truths, but they are not what I wish for you now. What I wish, is
to hold you in the moment. Allow you to feel the raw pain, the bitter winter of your
life. I am here with you now, to walk in front of you and clear the path, to walk beside
you to hold your hand, or behind you in silence trailing in your sorrow. I am sorry for
your pain, I am sorry for your loss, and I am sorry I have no words to fix it. All I can
offer you now is my unfortunate experience…. Taste the salt from your tears. When
you wake from a slumber and relive your reality, let the ache settle in your heart.
Embrace the pain; there is no healthy escape. But remember, you are not alone. There
are many of us holding you now. Let the pain change you, mold you. As you heal,
forever hold on to a small piece of it, never forgetting the clarity of today. Make his
death count, do not waste the loss, be better for it. I wish you the moment to hurt
and allow him to live on within you, the new you.