December 15, 2012

Speaking Out

A co-worker told me the news yesterday.

"Did you hear about the shooting in Connecticut?"

"What shooting?"

"It was at an elementary school."

That's when my heart dropped and I stopped breathing as my friend looked up the name of the town. I didn't know where Newtown was, I had to look it up on the map. But the thought of my mother first came to mind... she teaches at an elementary school in my home town in Connecticut.

Then I thought... although it wasn't me, someone lost their mom today.

I thought of my niece who is 5 years old. Silly. Playful. Innocent.

Then I thought... someone lost their niece today.

Someone lost their child, their baby, the whole meaning of their life.

And then there are those innocent victims who lost their lives...
There are those poor kids who survived, but are left terrified...
There are the parents, friends, and community who have lost their sense of security...

There were so many questions and so much anger being built up inside me yesterday. I didn't even know what words to choose to accurately convey my feelings. Even now, writing this today, feels like it won't make much of a difference.

I'm usually silent when something like this gains massive attention throughout the world. I haven't spoken out in the past, even as I've read about elections, hurricanes, and past shootings. I feel like, even if I knew what I wanted to say, I know it won't ever be enough to properly reflect the devastation... so I choose to stay silent.

But today I feel different. I see panic rising. I see people losing hope.

I hear people demanding for more gun control from the government...
I hear people blaming it on the mental health of the gunman...
I hear people praying to their God...

The truth is... we are not protected no matter how much we want to feel safe. This could have happened to anyone, at any age, in any town, in any building, at any time. There's no control over anything. This is life. It's unpredictable. We are mortal and flawed. Some people are good and some people are bad... that is all I can conclude from this.

The sad thing is... a few months down the road this won't be the headlining story in the media anymore. Most people will carry on and put it in the back of their minds, because they have to, because it's too painful to think about every day.

But the families in Newtown... they're going to deal with this every day. They're going to have to heal somehow. I don't know how anyone overcomes something like this. I can only assume they react in a multitude of ways... cry, ache, mourn, question, blame, hate... until there is nothing left but to place the memory in their heart and move forward.

There really are no words to appropriately explain the thoughts going through my mind, but I didn't want to be silent anymore.

My heart and thoughts are with the families of the victims, the members of the community, and every one else whose heart is aching over this tragic event. Try to find peace in your daily lives, hug your families, hold them tight, and try to carry on without losing hope in humanity.

In the end, hope is all we really have.


  1. This is a beautiful post. I couldn't watch the news because I have a two year old daughter and I honestly cannot tell you what I would do with myself if something like this happened!I was hurt and angry and saddened by the situation. But all I could do was pray that these families can heal someday and for God to somehow ease their pain.

  2. Fantastic post. I have seen far too much negativity on social media and individuals blogs about this tragic event. Your perspective is a light at the end of a long, dark tunnel. Thank you for sharing and not staying quiet.

  3. This is an amazing post and I'm glad you decided not to stay silent. You're right, all we really do have is hope.

  4. Very well said. I am so devastated for the families that can't move on when the "next big news story" happens. I am also one that doesn't like to comment on social media, it just doesn't feel like it helps. I believe in hope, I just have to hope that my babies will be safe in school and your mom and niece and everyone else.

  5. I'm really glad that you're speaking out - none of us can afford to be silent anymore. I actually think we need even stronger words than you've used, but thank you for starting.

  6. Well said. We have to remember this and live our lives with the hope for change and goodness. May things like this not continue to happen. My heart just aches for those people who are hurting and filled with such loss. Words can't really describe the situation because it is so horrible. I just pray that they will be given some peace from media so they can grieve and that they will be able to get through it and be strong in the future. I don't think you can ever get over it fully though. So heartbreaking.

  7. I can't even think about this without crying. It's so incredibly sad. My mom works in a school and the people she works with are concerned for their safety. The unfortunate thing is that you can put measures into place to prevent this from happening again, but if someone really wants to shoot out a school, nothing will stop them. They'll find a way. I think the answer to solving this is love. If everyone showed a bit more love, maybe people wouldn't feel the need to shoot innocent people.

  8. These mass shootings are truly devastating, no matter who the victims are. But there is something so enraging about shooting children. Their innocence, the lack of years behind them, they are CHILDREN. Our future. And yet we have people erasing them from our presence as if it means nothing. This truly hurt me. I understand how these victims feel more than I ever wish I could. And my heart truly breaks for them. I am happy for you though, that this was not your mother, not your niece.


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