Holiday Grief

In the wake of another national tragedy, one that shook us to our very core in that it involved innocent children, there is never a clear, definite answer on how to cope. The families who were at the heart of this devastating  loss of life most definitely deserve our prayers, sympathy, and kind thoughts, but how should the general populace cope in the light of the terrible and senseless events that transpired on Friday at Sandy Hook Elementary?

If you are related to or personally know someone who lost their life on that terrible, terrible day, I offer my heartfelt condolences. I’m sure I am not the only one who feels extreme pain for those who lost their loved ones mere days before Christmas. But as a general populace, removed from the situation, how should we respond? Many mirror the grief of those who lost their children, their mothers, their friends. Simply imagining what those poor people must be going through right now is enough to bring tears to my eyes. Others feel scared. There has been an out flux of teachers leaving the profession after these events, and many are crying out for higher levels of security and protection for the children of America. And still others are reacting through anger. Fingers are pointed, blame is spouted, and most often at the wrong causes. Ryan Lanza lost both his brother and his mother on the same day, and was the target of an incredible amount of hate, even after the media admitted they had provided wrong information to the public.

So, where in the midst of all of this sorrow and fear and shame can we turn? Well, I’m not here to give you a definite answer, but if you are a religious person, prayer works wonders to soothe the soul and calm the mind. Just being reminded of the presence of God, even if He is not as active a participator as we would like, may be enough to help you through these difficult times. Take a step inside a church and light a candle for those who lives were lost, and for those who must go on living, for they are the ones who still suffer. If you are not of a religious mindset, make sure to enjoy nature for a spell. Go for a walk, find a quiet place to simply sit and think and be grateful for each breath that passes your lips. And for both religious and non-religious alike, go to the barn. Go tell your favorite horse friend about what happened. Tell him/her how you feel about it. Tell them why you are scared and upset. Don’t be afraid of sounding silly, once the words start coming you will feel so much better. Wrap your arms around your horse’s neck, and be thankful for the nuzzling that is less of an affectionate move but is driven by greed for cookies. In crazy, mixed-up times like these, your horse is your rock. he is understandable. He is the same. He will be there for you.

So this week, and I’m sure for the rest of most of our lives, we remember the ones who were lost that tragic Friday, and we seek condolence from those who say no words. These remarkable animals remind us again how unnecessary and inappropriate it is to argue and fight and debate over and over and over, right after such awful events. We will make it through this, with our four-hooved friends by our side the entire way.

And so, with a heavy heart I offer my respects to the following:

Charlotte Bacon (6 years old); Daniel Barden (7 years old); Rachel Davino (29 years old); Olivia Engel (6 years old); Josephine Gay (7 years old); Ana Marquez-Greene (6 years old); Dylan Hockley (6 years old); Dawn Hochsprung (47 years old); Madeleine Hsu (6 years old); Catherine Hubbard (6 years old); Chase Kowalski (7 years old); Jesse Lewis (6 years old); James Mattioli (6 years old); Grace McDonnell (7 years old); Anne Murphy (52 years old); Emilie Parker (6 years old); Jack Pinto (6 years old); Noah Pozner (6 years old); Caroline Previdi (6 years old); Jessica Rekos (6 years old); Avielle Richman (6 years old); Lauren Rousseau (30 years old); Mary Sherlach (54 years old); Victoria Soto (27 years old); Benjamin Wheeler (6 years old); Allison Wyatt (6 years old)

 

Memorial set up after shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Many teddy bears, flowers and candles adorn two shelves in a circle. In the center of the picture, there is a lego cross.