I’m not really sure how to put into words the thoughts in my head the last few days. Many, MANY people have put their feelings, their heartache, their impressions, their solutions and beliefs into words through this amazing place we call “the web”. Quite a few have been articulate, well thought out, beautiful, tributes to the lives lost just a few days ago.
At various moments throughout the last few days it has hit me. Most of the time I feel silly at the threatening tears, recognizing that I didn’t know these precious little ones, their families, their classmates. In no way at all does the tragedy of Friday’s events personally impact me. BUT, the truth is as a mother, as a human being, it does…as the details of these little lives and the ones that survived are released I find myself pausing at random moments, struck with a heaviness of heart and a lump in my throat, pondering how difficult these next few weeks will be for those who are personally living this nightmare. What I feel is the deep sorrow for the pain each mother has to endure. The snuggles lost, the tender moments, the “I love you’s”, the day to day interactions that happen between a mother and her child that many times we take for granted, the sense they will always have that something is missing.
In the moments following all the devastation, the world stopped, we took notice of something horrible, we mourned, we gave voice to our questions and lack of understanding at how our world has come to this place. But “we” have the ability to move on…in a week, two weeks, three weeks, the events of Friday will be a horrible memory. “We” will continue with our daily lives, return to our normal schedules, and while we won’t forget what happened, it won’t dominate our minds, our blogs, our Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, etc., you get the point. The mothers and fathers, both young and old, the classmates, the uncles and aunts, the grandparents, the cousins, the friends, will live out each day with a piece of their heart gone forever.
Tonight I listened to my precious six-year old quietly singing Christmas carols. As I looked at her shining face, I was overcome by sadness for the families that will not enjoy those beautiful notes from the lips of their children, sadness for the presents that would remain, wrapped under the tree as a reminder of their nightmare, the traditions that will likely become painful reminders of the events of this year. While we move on with our lives, these families will relive their pain every year at a time when most of us are celebrating.
In truth my greatest sadness comes with knowing that nothing we can ever do here on earth will take that deep, heavy sorrow away. Nothing that we change, no amount of knowledge or study will fix what has happened or what will continue to happen. Innocence lost…this is the world we have always lived in and will continue to live in. And the little ones being lost aren’t just those here in the privileged part of the world, they are being lost to starvation and poverty, to genocide, to war, to abuse and neglect. Evil exists and we can’t keep it at bay.
As a mother, I want to live in ignorance of that fact. On Friday I tried to. I turned off my tv…I refused to click on any post that told me what was happening in that tiny, little town…I didn’t ask anyone about it or try to gather more information…I tried to pretend that it was a normal day. But knowledge can often be inevitable. As I slowly filtered through various news pieces, the awareness gripped me. I didn’t fear for my children in any way, I didn’t feel a sense of needing to immediately check on them but I felt a tug of reality. A realization that while I didn’t need to physically hold them I wanted to promise them something I couldn’t/can’t. We cannot EVER promise that pain will not touch them. We cannot shield them from suffering, hardship or heartache. What can we do, we all ask? How do we continue to live with peace in our hearts and minds, knowing that at any moment our lives could be torn apart by unexpected tragedy? What is the answer?
There really isn’t one single answer, there is no guarantee that a special formula will help us live our lives in peace, or give us a calm heart to face all there is to face in the world. For those who pray, we pray…we pray for protection, we pray for wisdom, we pray for words to say and when words escape us we pray for love, we pray for softening of hearts, for selflessness, for joy amidst the sorrow, for the opportunity to teach our children their responsibility in a world that is in a constant state of death and decay. When we aren’t praying, we hope. We hope for mercy, for forgiveness, for fulfillment of promise.
Today, I pray and I hope. But it isn’t for myself…it’s for those who ARE and who continue to be affected, directly by the sorrows of losing lives too quickly, too young, too terribly. I pray that the heartache doesn’t bury them, I pray that they find teeny, tiny flickers of joy as a life line, I hope they can wake up in the morning and crawl out of bed despite the heavy burden, I pray they are able to one day continue with a new normal, I pray that the senseless loss of life doesn’t become so overwhelming that they themselves lose all hope. I pray for comfort, even though it will be hard to find and eventually, I pray for healing.