A co-worker told me the news yesterday.
"Did you hear about the shooting in Connecticut?"
"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.