If you turned on your radio or TV today - you discovered that once again we will be witness to a community that will have to manage their way through horrific loss that no one can measure, comprehend fully, or probably heal.
If you're like me - it's only a few hours since you heard it and you are shocked and numb. You may have cried. You may wonder why you're not. It's the initial stage of grieving - shock - something this intense - meaningful does not hit us easily. The mind acts like a shock absorb-er to allow more digestion of this horror and loss. For some it may take several days. They may feel robotic, see the deceased, have hallucinations of the event, stop eating, drink too much, laugh nervously, be angry at simple things - and hopefully start sharing openly with others - to allow others to add their presence - to sit in the quiet or simply listen.
Sitting quietly with someone who has experienced a loss is often the most powerful thing you can do. You don't have to fix it. You don't have to share how you 'did it' - you don't have to say anything. In fact many of those who have been through tragic loss - wish most had said nothing rather than the wrong thing - that they recall years later. The best thing to say - is "I don't know what to say that will comfort you right now - but just know that I am here with caring and love." That's enough.
I went to my usual blog sites to see that the rest of the world was thinking and saying - and have to admit that I forget that most people are NOT counselors - more people are gun holders or afraid of guns - so 90% of the blogs I browsed through were projected fear and anger about gun control. I can understand the why of this commentary as everyone searches to make sense of this - and guns have the 'evil' that we can see - feel - hear - so we can get angry at them and having them and the rules that let people have them. The energy expended helps those in grief - become angry. It becomes the issue that makes sense of the senseless.
Asking WHY will keep us stuck. The religious - especially the righteous evangelicals are already blaming it on us not having religion in school. Sorry but I'm for allowing choice - I personally believe that the God I know personally - CRIED - wept - at what happened and what is happening. Telling people 20 children under 10 years old were gunned down because they weren't 'religious' enough - it downright cruel. How can anyone assume how much a person knows Jesus personally? I'm not going to express my outrage here - I'm too busy dealing with the shock that a son gunned down his mother and 20 young children as well as several other adults including their Guidance Counselor/ Psychologist - something I have been trained for. This school lost the professional who knew these children differently than their own teachers - I can't even imagine having to be responsible for sharing the burden of the grieving this school and community will have to navigate through. There will be plenty of volunteers in the initial months - but I'm more concerned about how these children will manage as they move through their lives ahead - and the parents who have lost their children. As I share with my clients - when a parent loses a child - it's life out of order - it is never 'done' - it is not anything you 'get over' - it will be with each person daily - till their own life is over.
Hopefully we will visibly support this community. Some will fight for stricter gun laws - even though Connecticut has one of the nation's strictest regulations. Some will work with the families and children. Hopefully enough stick around through these lives to help them manage the life events ahead that their loved one is no longer present to enjoy. We can learn from their example. We can be part of a good example. This will be about learning about the significance of life and how we acknowledge its loss. It will test our hearts and minds - it will bring us resilience, empathy, strength and passion for new causes. It may paralyze us or motivate us - we will each do it differently but we will also experience what is universal - death of someone we love.