When Can We Breathe Again?

charlie_brownI went to pick up my four-year old daughter today from her preschool located inside a community church.  I had a relatively good day trying to be reflective and more available and open to Spirit, and less distracted by the noise of social media or the news.  So you can imagine my reaction when I learned of today’s horrific news that a 24-year old gunman opened fire at an elementary school claiming lives too many to count without streaming tears of helplessness.  I must be dreaming.

It seemed surreal as I stood there zipping my baby girl’s jacket, adjusting her barrette which I apparently clipped too tight this morning.  I could hear the chilling words from the chief reporting parent, as well as the words of the other mothers chiming in to confirm what they had also heard, but I was hearing all of this for the first time.  None of it made sense.

I am sure that finding meaning in all of this was on the minds of all the parents and grandparents gathered to retrieve their children, but it was too early to contemplate.   What will parents tell their children about their murdered friends, classmates, neighbors, or even siblings?

I stand away from Connecticut, but still know that tragedies like these seem to be hitting closer to “home”. Violence is quickly becoming a growing trend, and our most vulnerable are often the victims. In this case, it was children and courageous teachers who seem to be working in hostile times instead of developmental classrooms.  Please someone, tell me I am hearing wrong.

I loaded my girl into her safety seat and then my heart sank. I looked back at her more often than usual, to make sure that she was still there, safely buckled and intact where I left her. I needed her fully awake and present. I needed to see her eyes. I looked for comfort and assurance beyond their glimmer. I needed to hear some more incessant pleading, and annoying requests. I don’t mind them, nor do I complain today.  I needed to hear her.

My heart grows heavy with the knowledge that there are parents, not too far from here, who will not have the same privilege this evening. Instead, grief and an overwhelming sense of incomprehensibility await them.  Though we who stand outside of their community empathize, we’ll mostly go on about our business, while their realities will be forever altered. I pray that one day these families will find the strength that they need to carry on, but in the meantime, as they search to find meaning, I hope that a comforting touch, a deeply pressed hug, and the openness and sincerity of community will tend to their hearts and homes during a very difficult time.  This is my hope.

We may never find the words to describe this condition which seems to plague folk determined to carry out violence for whatever selfish, angry reasons they have, but I pray that our response will be one that will help these families find meaning in this.  But I am not sure anyone can.  I trust that in time we learn to trust, hope, and just breathe again.

24 thoughts on “When Can We Breathe Again?

  1. I was looking through my email and saw someone had blogged the news of what happened. I haven’t followed the story because it’s seems it’s become a norm, but ultimately, as it is so sad, I can’t follow it right now. These children and families were looking forward to the holidays and their lives have been so tragically interrupted. It’s so awfully painful when people hurt children.


    1. Very painful, Tots. I have not been watching the news coverage at all. I turned on NPR’s special coverage and listened via headphones right after I heard it from the other parents, but I won’t dare expose my children to that. My 12yo son learned it through the news on his phone, and we had a real powerful, tear-filled discussion about it yesterday. I think I needed him more than him me at that point. 😦 My daughters have no idea, and I think I’m doing the right thing by keeping it that way.

      As always, thanks for the visit. 🙂


  2. It’s awful. We are numb. This one feels worse than others because of the age of the children. Why should they have to face such horror? How will those that survived deal with this? Too much pain, and too many guns.


    1. Numbing indeed, Monica. These babies still have to play. There are still and takes to erect, mud pies to bake, Christmas presents to open, love to give, and butterfly kisses to land. I slept miserably last night. My 7yo dghtr came to our bed last night. I’d usually talk her into returning to her bed, but not this time. I wanted her close. I hugged her and envisioned the emptiness and loss that the grieving parents must feel. Numbing indeed. We need to feel again, for our communities, for our children, for our most vulnerable…to feel again.


    1. Thanks Yvonne. It will be very difficult. It will take all of us to roll up our sleeves of empathy and compassion. We’ll have to love more deeply, more authentically. We are our brother’s keepers. Deeply saddened.


  3. We live in a world where the news of tragedy travels so fast. I spent the day grieving for a child I didn’t know who died in a bizarre wreck when her dad had a seizure. These things affect me greatly because I lost a child, suddenly and pointlessly. What can we do but hug the kids we still have, hold the door for an elderly person, take the paper to an elderly neighbor. I try so hard to believe that the kindness of humans outweighs the violence, but on days like today, it is so hard.


    1. Brenda, I stand with you. I am sorry for the loss your own child. I am sure that days like today are still very painful for you. Your stories about personal grief and loss give me hope, however, that one day other parents will also be able to find healing spaces. I certainly don’t have the answers, but I do know that I refuse to be disempowered, though I am certainly affected, by the sick condition of folk and violence. I know that our acts of kindness and love are important and can make a difference in uplifting us collectively in the hope that we can indeed make someone’s day a little bit brighter. I am hugging my loved ones a little tighter this evening. Thanks for the reminder. Please do the same. 🙂


  4. Reblogged this on The ObamaCrat.Com™ and commented:
    We will never breath, like we breathed yesterday. Our breaths will always be just a bit shorter. 27 breaths shorter, one for each of Adam Lanza’s victims.


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