I watch and I read, until it overwhelms. Then I pull away.
But something pulls me back, a soul’s magnet, to the story that no one believes is the stuff of reality, a story that is not pulled from a dark book but from an anonymous town on a winter morning.
Maybe because I am a parent,
because my dear friends are teachers,
my father is a principal,
my brother works in a school,
because I am human,
because of all of these things
I grieve for Newtown, my town, your town, our town.
I grieve for parents paralyzed with an unimaginable sorrow and an impossible journey ahead. I grieve for families who will trudge through endless questions in a never ending quest for answers that will not come.
The collective broken heart of a country reassures me that my feelings are shared, my experience is your experience. So distant but so unmistakably connected. In these first days, flashes of the utmost terror weigh heavy on my spirit at all times. I see in my daughter’s bright eyes the mirror of such innocence stolen, futures aglow with promise that will not be realized. The very hope of a country.
There is anger to own. At an intent we are desperate to rationalize but cannot. How do we understand the unthinkable? How do we process without glorifying?
There is fear to accept in this new normal.
There is helplessness to tame when the mind says, “Do! Fix! Heal!” But so little can be done. Fixed. Healed.
There is sadness in its most basic form. Deep, aching sadness.
I am so small against such great tragedy.
What is there to do? What is there to say? Where is there to go from here? I am haunted by the chilling reality of evil, of not being able to escape it in this life, of being incapable of protecting my child from these horrors. How do you grasp that, and still move? Still nurture independence? Still encourage dreams and hope?
But how do you look at your baby’s precious face and not cling to hope? At our darkest hour, it is these very faces that remind us we MUST move. We must hope. We must be more than this. If not for myself—because that is simply not enough right now—for her. For them.
That which I claim to be my stronghold, the unwavering part of my self, comes face to face with upheaval, with trembling despite the Truth that it is okay. How can it be?
When I stumble through these questions, when I grasp clumsily to make sense of a moment that bears none, the only solace I find is that you, they, even myself, are not looking at my finite mind for explanations. My reasoning is not what families will turn to. My words will do little to help; I can’t even find them most of the time. My arms do not reach that far, into a grief that deep. My heart tells me that there is no comfort to be found for twenty-seven hurting families (yes, he too had a family). I see a darkness too unbearable to receive peace.
And still. Peace can come. Comfort can find them. It will be the kind that should not exist, but does. Because it is bigger than what we can ever understand. It is there because this is not beyond Him.
It is beyond me. And that is exactly as it should be.
I am still searching and processing. Shedding tears and worrying. Praying without words because I don’t even know where to begin.