Though our preparations for the coming holidays continued last week and over the weekend I have to say that some of the wind was taken out of our smooth sailing with the news from Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, CT. I watched only a brief newscast on Friday that reported the tragedy and then turned off the TV. I let myself go there. I let myself feel all that I could imagine the parents were feeling. And I imagined being the teachers in the school. And then I felt what the children must have felt. And I cried.
I haven't watched anymore news updates and I have tried not to think or talk about the tragedy not in anyway to be disrespectful to the loss that occurred but simply because something of this magnitude takes time to process. And I know I will only be able to let little bits of information in at a time because this all feels too close to home. Not close in a literal way as Connecticut is a very long way from our northern town but figuratively speaking it touches my life.
It feels close to home because long gone is the comfort we would take in saying "that wouldn't happen here". We know that events like Newtown can happen anywhere. It is close to home because I work in a school and we practice those procedures. The exact ones the news broadcasted about at Sandy Hook... locking doors, turning off lights, hiding children. It's close because I work with children and each night I worry whether I did everything I could, did I contact everyone I should have, did I miss any important detail, somehow thinking that if I did everything right that something like this won't happen here. It's close to home because my school is full of people and children that I love...including my own.
Slowly, I will let more of that days events in to be processed. I will take what can be learned from a loss so great and apply it where it needs to go. And in the meantime we will continue on with our holiday plans because that is the only thing we know how to do. I don't have any quotes or bible verses or words of wisdom about moving forward from tragedy but I do think this blogger says it well.
Oh Christmas Tree decorating...
I will return soon. And I will return with Christmas spirit.
Prayers to all those affected, near and far.