Saturday, December 14, 2013


One year ago today twenty small children and six adults who took the responsibility of protecting those children entrusted to their care so seriously that they laid down their own lives in an attempt to save the children's were murdered in cold blood in a place that many, if not all, had considered a place of safety.  It was on this day one year ago that a well-armed coward entered the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut and murdered these twenty-six.

It is the nightmare of every parent to bury our child.  It defies the natural order, the natural rhythm of things.  Those we help bring into this world are supposed to leave it after we have done so.  They are never to leave it before us.  And it is a nightmare for a parent irrespective of the child's age.  Whether they are so young that we push them in a stroller or so grown that we walk beside them on a wooded path as they push our grandchild in a stroller it matters not.  They are our legacy.  They are supposed to be here long after we are not.

As anyone who has ever buried a family member or a loved one knows, grieving is an ongoing, perhaps even perpetual process.  In my experience there is no natural order to it.  It simply is what it is.  There are days that are less bad than others.  There are scant few good days.  And there are no truly great days.  The cliche of time's healing power on all wounds does not apply.  Hurt is hurt.  And it never really goes away. 

A process that is difficult every day is made even more so today for the families of the twenty children and six adults of Sandy Hook Elementary School.  Today is a day that those of us who were not directly impacted by what happened between those four walls that day pause to think of them and those who they lost.  We cannot share their hurt.  We cannot take it away.  We really cannot even do anything to alleviate it. 

But we can keep a good thought for them today and for the loved one each family lost.  We can remember too that the tragedy of this event - and from the far-too-many similar events that pop up across this country on a regular, recurring basis - arises not from the total number of people killed but from the death of each.  Each loss is all consuming to the family that had it inflicted upon them and has had to endure it every minute of every day since December 14, 2012.  And shall have to do so tomorrow.  And the next day.  And the next day after that as well.  



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