Friday, December 14, 2012


I've already fixed my cocktail for the evening and am ready to sit down and indulge in the remainder of season two of Downton Abbey - I'm hopelessly hooked, speaking internally in a delightful, if muddy, British/Irish accent and readying myself for the day when I can "take to my bed and ring a bell for service", as my friend Mary has said. But before I permit such festivities I feel it so important to share my feelings and racing thoughts about the school shooting that befell Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, CT this morning.

I've only read the bare minimum news coverage so as to stay informed without letting it swallow me whole. My first sighting of the news was during an endless scroll through my Facebook newsfeed full of distraught messages that sent me directly to my CNN mobile app, my eyes partially covered in anticipation of what horrors had come knocking, this time around.

My stomach dropped right down to my toes as I took in the screaming headlines of a mass shooting with a significant loss of life - most of them being precious, innocent children. At this time there are twenty families who have received the most devastating news that any parent can ever fathom: your child has been killed. At school. At their elementary school! A place to which we send our children to learn, expand, socialize and make a place for themselves. An environment that we expect to be not only safe, but warm, supportive and full of potential; a place for them to grow into their future selves.

I've had a sick feeling since having first read the news; walking down the aisles in the grocery store seemed so normal, casual, almost disrespectful. How could I be so unconcerned as to be deciding over organic eggs or not? How indeed, when mothers, fathers, siblings and extended families all throughout CT and the nation, for that matter, will be making decisions regarding funerals and memorials for their dear, sweet babes.

Twenty pregnancies; twenty labors and deliveries; dozens of proud parents sobbing and cheering as they met these little wonders to whom they'd been gifted the opportunity to bring up - all of this cut short by the actions of one. No more firsts will be had; family make-ups irrevocably changed; best friends lost; an unending series of unanswerable questions that this community will face not only for the sake of outsiders, but their very own children and students who must now come to terms with the destruction of their safe space and shattered ideals at an age far too young for reason.

As I sat down to dinner with my children tonight, my mind was focused on the families I imagined as having been caught in the fray. The single mom, called up at her second job to be told that her son, the reason she wakes every day and works as hard as she does to make a better life, her lifeblood, her person, her one special person to whom life attaches all meaning, has been stolen away from her.

The new-to-town family, just relocated to the area from across the country, haven't yet met the neighbors but are now tragically familiar with the police force as a knock at the door this morning forever altered the course of the lives they'd so carefully considered and sought.

The couple who struggled for years with infertility only to be blessed with a late-in-life child, a child they so doted on and a miracle for which they never stopped thanking God. The life they had finally achieved after years of false starts and disappointments, destroyed in mere moments at the hands of a stranger.

I keep thinking of all the presents bought, wrapped, set under the Christmas tree now never to be had; Elves on Shelves that no longer have a purpose; the smiles and giggles that won't be heard in the coming weeks as we all gather and celebrate this season of togetherness. The pall that will forever be the holiday season for the families who must now lay to rest their children, and along with them, the life they had known and all the moments taken for granted.

I prayed over our meal tonight and cried as I spoke; my babes giggled as they watched me wipe my tears and for a moment I was tempted to ask them to respect my sad feelings. But I didn't. Because I'm so very, very fortunate that I don't have to explain this tragedy to them, nor could I in any manner that would make sense to them. None of this makes sense to me as an adult; thank goodness my babes are innocent enough that I've been spared the complicated conversation, at least this time, anyway. But the same can't be said for the impacted families and communities who are now tasked with the impossible: to make sense of the senseless and explain the unexplainable.

For all my grumbling I know there are many moms in Newtown who would give anything right now to hear potty talk at the dinner table; deal with vomit in the car; be a party to a kicking and screaming tantrum in the middle of Target; change wet sheets in the middle of the night and inhale that sweet, delicious scent of their sleeping loves. To that end I pray that I can retain the feelings I'm pouring into this post and never forget the sobs that have wracked my body as I consider "what if..."

So I ask that you call on your beliefs, whatever they may be, and send love, light, prayers, good thoughts, healing wisdom and anything else you can muster to the dozens of parents and hundreds of families who have been shaken to their very core by the events of this morning.

For your own loves, speak loudly and often of the love in your heart; there's no such thing as too much nor too often.

Love and light,


  1. More than any other comments I've read today (aside from the news coverage itself), this has brought tears to my eyes. I'm fortunate that my sons are grown. However my grandchildren are not. One lives in CT not too far from that community. Just last week they were researching the pre-schools in the area. After this, they are now researching home-schooling. I can't imagine how I would feel if my grandson had been just 2-years older and attending that school.

  2. I am so glad you felt the need to express your feelings on this. I am so angry. I cannot imagine what motivates someone to kill little children and really, no one knew what he was capable of? There has to be a way to open peoples eyes to the possibility that the nut they are living with or talked to at the bar, grocery store, or at school, is capable of real harm and must be stopped before they act. There has to be a way. Thank you for posting.