Last night before we went to bed, my husband said, “I can’t stop thinking about the fact that those children are still lying in that school.” He didn’t say bodies; he said children because it’s hard to imagine your child ever becoming just a body. Children are so full of life.
And yet, 20 children and several adults had their lives ended yesterday after a senseless act of violence. The reality of that must be so far removed from what anyone can even imagine in their most empathetic attempts. I don’t want to imagine.
We know what happened. We know how it happened. We know where and when it happened. We will never know why it happened. But that doesn’t stop anyone from conjecturing-
- Bad parenting
- Lack of God and prayer in school and in the world
- Video games
- Mental health issues
- The media
Would any of those reasons–alone or in combination–make anyone stop and say to themselves, “Okay. Yes. Now I understand. That makes sense.” No. Not me anyway. There is no reason that will ever give rise to any explanation that would allow me to understand why this happened.
To presume to know or offer reasons as to why is just plain arrogance.
All we can do is try to find ways to make it harder for people to do bad things. Praying for the victims and their families–for the community–is not enough. We can’t fix the “why,” but we can address the “how.”
I don’t have any answers. I don’t know why; and I don’t know what to do exactly to address the how. I guess it is a natural reaction to try to place blame somewhere for something so horrific. Because if there is nothing to blame, then that means we have to accept the fact that we can’t control the world around us.
The best we can do is have a conversation, make changes where they make sense, and move forward.
But first let’s take time to just mourn the loss of these lives and grieve along with the families and try harder to be kinder to each other. We have all known or will know loss, but fortunately, few of us will ever bear witness to such devastation.
Children are so full of life. They see the world through eyes framed with innocence. They are a parent’s greatest joy.
Life and innocence and joy have all been shattered for those families in Newtown. We don’t have to know why to know that they are suffering. And to feel lucky that we are not.