There are simply no words for what happened in Newtown, Connecticut on Friday. Newtown is a quiet town not far from where I live. It’s a beautiful New England town where you’d want to raise your children…it’s not a place you could ever imagine anything like this ever happening. And yet the unthinkable did happen on Friday. In an absolutely senseless act of violence, 26 angels were sent to heaven far too soon.
Its hard to focus on anything right now. Since Friday, I’ve been in a fog. I find myself in tears often. Everyone I know is experiencing the same sort of grief and sadness. There’s no way to make sense of this tragedy…its heartbreaking. How could this have happened yet again, and in an elementary school?!
Talking to my own children was not easy. How do you explain this? Most of the victims were young children who had their whole lives in front of them….birthdays, graduations, weddings, children of their own. Their parents and grandparents will be denied these precious memories. The adults that lost their lives had full lives ahead of them as well…they were heroes, protecting those children until the end. There’s no explanation for this. No way to explain why.
We have a police presence in our schools this week. The hope is that the children will feel safe. But from school shootings to mall shootings to workplace shootings, this sort of tragedy is happening far too often. We can no longer take for granted our “safety” anywhere anymore. My youngest child told me that he actually feels less safe as a result of the police presence because it makes him feel like it could happen in his school. Having the police officer there is a reminder of what happened. Certainly I feel like my children are safer with the police there, but his reaction is understandable to me as well.
Life is precious. I don’t know what tomorrow will bring. But each day is a gift. Treasure it. Hug your children, your family and friends, your neighbors. Enjoy the time you have with those you love this holiday season, and all year long, because those memories are the fabric of our lives. As a quote from L.M. Montgomery that I recently came across says, “Nothing is ever really lost to us as long as we remember it.” We can hold on to memories through our photos and stories. Those memories give us strength…and help with the healing process.
This tragedy was a painful reminder of how fragile life really is. Hug your children and tell them you love them…and say a prayer for our Connecticut angels and their families.