One Year After Sandy Hook: Act With Courage, and Just Be
It’s hard to think logically about tragedy. The emotions overwhelm us, and as parents we go into a fight-or-flight state: Our hearts seize as we contemplate our own children being hurt or harmed; our pulse races; we look for the fast exit from the reality of our own inadequacies when it comes to keeping our families safe and making the world OK.
Many parents around the country will feel this way, this weekend, when we remember with deep sadness and anguish the shooting of 20 children and six women in Newtown, Conn., on Dec. 14, 2012. In my home, it’s the kind of thing we can barely speak of, even away from the children’s earshot, in broken whispers under king-sized covers. It’s the fear hardly utterable, the act that can’t be named, the what if.
What if …
And yet. Here we are, left with that terrifying what if but also with that inescapable, human task of comforting each other, of finding hope amid despair.
It’s hard to think logically about tragedy, but time makes space for action. While families and communities must observe the reminder of tragedy in their own ways, I humbly offer three ideas that might help you cope, find solace in action, and help others in acute need. These are the actions I have chosen to take within my own family and community, the best way that I know how, as a mother, to focus in the face of the very hardest things.
Help kids in grief
Many millions of dollars have been donated to Newtown families and community organizations in the wake of the shooting. Those dollars have and will pay for the important work of healing and support. Newtown still needs our help, but so do thousands and thousands of children in every community around the country who cope with the many lasting effects of grief, whether from mass tragedy, domestic violence, illness or poverty.