I recently found Wito’s school photo retakes in his backpack. Sparkling eyes, a huge toothless grin…it’s very difficult to look at them right now. I think of the Sandy Hook victims’ school photos…how many of those sweet children were missing some of their baby teeth too? Did they smile shyly or with boisterous accord?

I don’t know what any of the victims look like. I still can’t watch the coverage. I can barely get through any of the articles.

I just…I just can’t.


Wito’s first grade holiday program is tomorrow morning. How am I going to shove these feelings of sadness down into the depths of my stomach while I watch children of the exact same age sing holiday carols? How will I keep myself from dissolving into a mess of tears?

I’m not sure.


I watch Wito’s teacher during pickup after school. I want to hug her, to tell her how immensely thankful I am for her, but I know I will start crying. Instead, we exchange quick glances as I grab Wito’s hand.

She knows.


I make dinner in the new kitchen while the Christmas tree flickers in the corner and Bing Crosby croons “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” on the radio. I wonder if the holiday season will now, always and forever, be a horrible time for the victims’ families.

I don’t want to know the answer.


We all grieve in different ways. Some silently, some loudly, some calling for change in policies and social stigmata, some with wallets…I choose to believe it all comes from a good place, and we should be accepting of how people choose to deal with tragedy, not throwing jabs at each other.


Even though it seems cruel, life moves forward. For the better? I hope. I know it’s become painstakingly clear what truly matters.

  1. Meagan Francis

    December 19, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    I am right there with you, Sarah.

  2. Diana

    December 19, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    This is the only blog post about it that I’ve been able to read all the way through. I love your ending thoughts.

  3. Casey

    December 19, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    I wonder this too.

    And feel heartbroken and guilty about my own joys and tiny struggles. And life does go on but part of me wants to push against that like it shouldn’t go on. Not yet. It’s not fair. It’s too soon. But the time is never better. Because this isn’t okay and it never will be.

  4. Amy

    December 19, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    “We all grieve in different ways. Some silently, some loudly, some calling for change in policies and social stigmata, some with wallets…I choose to believe it all comes from a good place, and we should be accepting of how people choose to deal with tragedy, not throwing jabs at each other.”

    I love this. It’s so right on.

    As a teacher, this has absolultely gutted me. I hate living in a world where I ask: “Would I be brave enough to die for the kids in my classroom?” It’s terrifying.

  5. Sarah

    December 19, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    We move on but we are different, forever. And not different in a bad way – use this to be more outspoken with your thankfulness to everyone, to hug your child extra close (if that’s possible), to take moments to love other people’s children, to say thank you to those teachers – the every day heroes.

  6. sizzle

    December 19, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    I felt similarly seeing my nephew, same age as those sweet kids. I just let myself feel sad and cry when it hits me. I’ve read the articles and seen their photos and it punches me in the gut every time but I owe it to them to know their story. That’s the least I can do. And yes, all this? Brings what really matters into sharp focus. xo

  7. debbie

    December 19, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    I’m in Australia. Its in my mind constantly. I don’t understand it I really don’t.

  8. Amti' b

    December 19, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    Well said. It is painful, lots of hugs and kisses happening-if that is possible since i think we smother her at tumes. Can’t wait to see your cuties and squeeze????

  9. janet

    December 19, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    just this morning, my kindergartner had his holiday songfest. i broke down. i thought i could contain myself but as soon as i saw them all lined up on stage with happy faces, i couldn’t help imagine those poor kids of sandy hook. my heart aches every day. i can’t shake this pit in my stomach. it’s awful. i’m not far from that community and know people who have been affected directly by this one way or another. terrible. i count my blessings that fortunately, i get to hug my kids every morning and every night and still have the chance to tell them how much i love them. enjoy the holidays with your family!!

  10. Jessica

    December 19, 2012 at 3:41 pm

    I haven’t been reading the news coverage about it much, either. I think that the media makes the killer into a celebrity and I don’t want to condone that idea. All I can do it pray for peace for those families.

  11. Kristen Howerton

    December 19, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    I watched my kids singing Peace on Earth during the Christmas program this morning and LOST MY SHIT. Like, snotty cry. So sad.

  12. Jennifer

    December 19, 2012 at 5:05 pm

    This is a wonderful post and I think it was healthy for you to at least start writing about it. Do not feel bad about not reading or viewing media. I did the same thing.

    This is how I dealt with it.


  13. Lisa H.

    December 19, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    I am with you. I have no idea how to process thins event. My son is in Kindergarten. My younger son in preschool. Something has to change.
    I am just chiming in to say that I sent my son’s Kindergarten teacher an email on sunday night just to say, “I know what happened. I am so sorry and sad.. I imagine this has to be especially awful for you and I appreciate you SO VERY MUCH.” When I saw her at pick up on monday afternoon she hugged me and told me that I was the only parent that reached out and even mentioned the horrific event to her. She was flailing and feeling so very alone. Please, everyone with an elementary school teacher in your life – say/write something. Anything. Do it privately, (nothing in front of the kids) almost everyone has an email address for their kid’s teacher these days. But please, say/email something. Just a simple ‘thank you for coming to school everyday and doing this job”…I don’t know.

  14. Jen

    December 19, 2012 at 8:37 pm

    I am having trouble dealing with the tragedy too. My heart breaks every day over it. I keep thinking of this thing Brene Brown said. I’m ad libbing but it was generally – the only way to overcome the anxiety and fear is to practice gratitude. I truly believe t’s the antidote to this for me.

  15. Erin G

    December 20, 2012 at 6:08 am

    Wonderful post and thoughts. Your words are spot on.

    I live about 30 minutes from Newtown. And I have a 1st grader. I’ve tried to get through some of the news stories and coverage, but can’t without tears. Part of me doesn’t want to know the beautiful faces…but part of me feels like we all need to. I tried learning their stories, but when I came upon the name same as my son (and a picture of such a sweet boy with the same missing teeth as my son!), I had to stop. The emotion is still so raw. This event cuts deeper and hits closer to home than anything I’ve ever experienced.