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Thoughts

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.

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22 Comments
  • Therese

    December 20, 2012 at 7:08 am

    I too cannot bring myself to watch the coverage as it’s just too painful. I feel a bit guilty because I wonder how I can honor/respect the victims when I don’t watch to know who they are. I even skip all the tribute Facebook posts that many of my friends are sharing. I then think (more rationally, I hope) that there are plenty of ways to honor the lives lost than subjecting myself to sad media coverage that leaves me in tears (which I then can’t explain to my 20 month and 3.5 year age children).

  • Michelle Baxter

    December 20, 2012 at 8:49 am

    Hi Sarah – A FB friend of mine posted a pic of her little girl with one less tooth yesterday…that little baby face with a huge grin, so proud of herself. I feel the same way you do. It’s just so tragic.

  • Janine

    December 20, 2012 at 8:57 am

    delurking to thank you for this…

    “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.”

  • Linda

    December 20, 2012 at 8:59 am

    I feel the same way too. I think about it all the time. I’m a mommy to a 6-year-old and my sister is a first grade teacher. This could have happened at their school. Usually drop-off is pretty rushed for us but Monday morning, I hugged my son until he wiggled away and I lingered in the school office watching him walk to his teacher. All I could think of were those parents who had done the same that morning not knowing it would be the last time they would see their kids. As soon as the kids were in the classrooms and couldn’t see me, I was crying and I noticed some of the other moms were teary-eyed as we left. So very sad.

  • Jessica

    December 20, 2012 at 11:15 am

    So well said, Sarah. Thanks so much for putting the way so many of us feel into words. Sometimes I forget for a minute, but the dark cloud pulls me back under and I can’t help but cry, cry, cry for the so many families that are left to pick up the pieces. It’s hard to know what to do with something so horrific – as you said, I do hope that we move forward to a better place, a place where children and teachers are safe, forever and always.

  • Isabel

    December 20, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    I wrapped Christmas gifts on Saturday morning and sobbed as I thought about all the gifts the parents had wrapped in preparation for Christmas Eve. What will become of those presents? Will someone have to open them? Will they stay wrapped and hidden away in a closet because they bring so much pain?

    How do you move on from something as heinous as this?

    My son is 6. He’s in first grade. I can’t stop picturing him in that classroom. How scared he would be. How his last moments would be filled with sheer terror.

    We didn’t talk to him about the shooting. My husband and I felt like he was too young and too innocent. Instead I talked to him about a closet or cupboard he could hide inside in his classroom if “something bad happened”. I hate, hate, hate that I had to do that. I hate that the world is like this.

    A coworker said this morning that too many parents are “overreacting” to this. I was hurt that he would think that. People, especially parents, are mourning right now. This is hard. And we’re not overreacting.

    I’m not dealing with this very well. I don’t think any of us are. It’s tragic and I pray for the families every day.

  • Sarah

    January 6, 2013 at 10:06 pm

    Well said Sarah! My stomach hurts at the thought of sending the kids to school tomorrow! I know we have to live our life but this event can’t be and won’t be forgotten. Hugs to you & your family!