?> Lessons from Tragedy

Lessons in the Wake: Thoughts on the Sandy Hook Elementary School Tragedy

by Lynn on December 15, 2012

Like many other parents I sat glued to the news yesterday crying, grieving and just wanting my children to be home after learning about the horrendous acts of violence at the Sandy Hook Elementary School.

I felt like I needed more information, more insight, more understanding to piece how a human being could ever hit a point so desperately low that they could do what this young man did.  I hesitate to even call him a “man” because my intense anger of his actions puts him in categories that a “man” could not fit in.  Yet I know the only thing anger gives me, is anger in return.

Yesterday, I questioned my faith in the simplicity of human behavior, my belief in the death penalty, my understanding of gun laws and school safety, and the ability for our fellow humans to face horrors we can not identify with words.

Living in Connecticut, one of the smallest states in our country, made the world seem even smaller and as though the unspeakable occurred in my backyard…because it did.

In my everyday life, I continually search for the good. I whole heartedly believe there is an opportunity to learn from every hardship we face and I am determined to find it whenever it is presented to me.  Yesterday, I was at a loss.  I scoured my mind looking for the missing link. I listened to the reports on the news searching for the understanding, the silver lining or the light ahead.  I could not find it. How could anything good come from what feels and is so very, very devastating?

Today, I recognize that there is no end of grieving for the families who have lost their heart and for the children who experienced the violence that we strive to protect them from every day.  But there is a lesson and gift in this level of grieving and tragedy for everyone.

For a moment or a day or a week or in the months ahead:

We acknowledge that life is precious.

We live in the moments and stop thinking about what we need to do next. We sit in our pain, hold it and then release it as we start to look around and see what we do have in front of us.

We appreciate our children, our families, our friends and our supports that hold us up.

We grow closer to our neighbors and strangers we meet as we discuss the common ground of disbelief and sadness that we walk on together.  We embrace how similar we are and take comfort that there is more good than bad in the world when we allow ourselves to see.

We watch communities unite and thrive in the desire to support each other and experience love in any form it comes in.

We gain new role models of strength as we watch those our hearts break for take one step in front of the other with poise.  As we watch them stand, we admire that the human spirit is more strong, more courageous and more accepting than we ever dreamed possible. We learn great knowledge from these people, both young and old, and in turn, we lift them up with our outpouring of love both physically and energetically.

When all else fails, we hug one another, allowing us to be one with another, to exchange the energy of love and beauty and kindness and if only for a moment, know that we are never, ever alone.

Although we may never fully grasp a sense of understanding of why horrible things happen, we always have the ability to grasp what we will do in its wake.  It is our right as human beings to choose our path, to guide our children, and to love each other in whatever ways we deem fit.

Today, my friends, I send you my love. May we all find peace in the days ahead and appreciate the gifts bestowed to us each day.  May we also find solace with the knowledge and understanding that we are in this life together, every single one of us.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

They Call Me Mummy December 16, 2012 at 2:36 pm

Beautiful words for a situation that’s simply too horrifying to begin to understand xo


Lisa Weinstein December 16, 2012 at 8:28 pm

Sending love right back to you! Lisa


Jacqueline Rizk December 17, 2012 at 6:39 pm

Lynn, as usual you put this into such great perspective. I sat there crying uncontrollably for longer than I ever could explain feeling like those children were my loss somehow as well. Thank you for your words. I would normally say I hope something good comes out of this tragedy but I can’t, at this moment, figure out what that might be.


ginavalley December 17, 2012 at 7:53 pm

You make a good point in that we can’t choose what happens, but we do choose how we react to it. Reacting in love and caring make all the difference. This is a tragedy beyond understanding, but the needs of those affected are understandable and in many ways meet-able by those of us surrounding them.


Austin City Little December 17, 2012 at 11:08 pm

Beautiful words. Thank you.


LifebyCynthia December 18, 2012 at 4:40 am

Thank you for sharing your thoughts and sending your love. I’ve been so sad about it all.


Educate With Toys December 19, 2012 at 9:16 pm

What a beautiful post. Unfortunately, we tend to only appreciate the good in life after a tragedy hits. We have to be so thankful for our children and to remember that always!


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