December 16, 2012

What to Say About Sandy Hook?


It feels too weird to continue on with normal blog posting without acknowledging the horror that happened at Sandy Hook Elementary on Friday.

Does anyone else feel more than usually rocked by this tragedy?



We live in a world where senseless violence is so common that to carry on every day, we have to learn to thicken our skins and steel our hearts and avert our eyes, or risk being overwhelmed.

But every now and then something so shocking happens that it pierces that armor. We can't help but cry out with normal human feelings of horror and grief and outrage.  Is there anything more incomprehensible than the intentional slaughter of children and those trying to protect them?

I can't imagine what the families and the folks living in the Newtown Connecticut community are going through. They are all in our hearts as they try to cope and somehow make their way forward.

And I also feel for all of you who are parents of young kids, or teachers, or have violent deaths or sudden tragic losses in your past.  This has to hit on an even deeper personal level. So many of us are struggling with how to react.  (And for a beautiful pictorial example of this collective desire to express our sorrow, stop by Hilary's post at The Smitten Image).

I hope this grief rouses us into taking a stand against special interests and politics as usual, and that we, as a country, confront the insanity that is our gun legislation.  But at a personal level, I'm trying to temper the anger I feel at yet another senseless tragedy caused by a disturbed person with access to assault weapons. Action is helpful;  mere seething and blaming, not so much.

Instead I want to take tragedy as a reminder to love, to appreciate, to reach out, to be open and gentle and careful with others, whomever they may be.  Because.... well, one never knows when tragedy might suddenly strike. Opportunities for compassion are not infinite and unlimited.

Life is precious. And sometimes all too short.

Love... today.



Photos: freedigitalimages.netwww.freedigitalphotos.net/

38 comments:

  1. Beautifully said, Crabby. Of course we're more than usually rocked.. we'd have to be cold and detached if we were not. It's incomprehensible and my heart feels battered. I feel utterly sick for those families.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Hilary, and you put it eloquently: my heart feels battered too.

      Delete
  2. Thank you thank you thank you...as the reality of it sets in, beyond the media craziness, it really and truly goes beyond what we can fathom, especially when I see the outpouring from all corners of the Earth. Although I haven't lived there since I graduated from high school, Newtown is my "hometown."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh dear Karen, as a hometown tragedy this must be especially wrenching. And yes, I'm heartened too to see the outpouring of human connection this has brought forth worldwide.

      Delete
  3. Well put, Crabby. There is only love. It is the correct response.
    This massacre affected me more than usual. It's hard to detach from something so unfathomable.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's good not to detach sometimes I think, even if it's painful. Thank you Leah.

      Delete
  4. I was horrified at this event!!

    I submitted a column on Friday on this which I hope our editor will run on Monday.

    (PS:Low fat plus portion control, plus lots of running is what works for me :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Dr. J, will be curious about your take.

      Delete
  5. Thank you for the beautiful thought filled post Crabby. As mom to a kindergartener, this one has been especially hard for me. And scary.

    But let us also not forget the guns are not the only problem. The mental illness is the root of the problem. I'd suggest this post for a thoughtful, reasoned look "from the inside": http://anarchistsoccermom.blogspot.com/2012/12/thinking-unthinkable.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Must have been so horrible to read about this as the mother of a kindergartener!

      Delete
  6. The slaughter of innocence (and innocents) is what tears your heart apart. The age of the victims, the time of year.... the heartbreak of the parents and families affected by this; all contribute to the horror felt around the world.
    Reading comments on various news reports and other web pages has, at times, left me speechless with rage. "If the teachers had all been armed, this wouldn't have happened".... "Guns don't kill people, people do"... "We need to be able to protect ourselves"..... "if we give up our guns, we'll be powerless against our government"... and on and on. The "Okay Corral" mentality of so many Americans boggles my mind.
    I'm stopping my rant before I really get going - this is not the place for it. Going to go stick my head back in the sand... err... snow.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Am with you on the "Okay Coral" mentality and do NOT understand any conceivable reason people should feel entitled to own assault rifles in particular.

      Delete
  7. There's really not much to say except to express so much sadness about it.

    Those are some beautiful words and you're absolutely right.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Very well said. My kids are grown now, but I can't imagine losing them at such a young age.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Grown kids or not Mary, I think this has been especially hard on all parents.

      Delete
  9. I know...I don't even know quite how to repond to an even like this. I cannot wrap my head around it. I don't have kids, and maybe that makes it harder to understand...or would that be easier? I don't have that feeling to know what it would be like to lose it. People are trying to turn it into an example as for or agains weapon control...but it's just too much. I'm struck with how mentally ill people...well they're not well. They don't make sense. None of this whole thing makes one bit of sense at all.
    I know friday we were over at a friend's house, whose son is 7 and everytime I looked at him all I could think of was how, somewhere, there is a family like theirs with no smiles and giggles and laughter. Our friends felt the same way...almost looked a bit haunted sometimes at the thought of it. Needless to say he was allowed to stay up late that night with us, with extra hot chocolate and rock band with the adults...lots of smiles. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is impossible to make sense of, Geosomin, and I can't imagine the grief the affected families are experiencing right now. Glad the 7 year old is so loved and cherished!

      Delete
  10. Speaking as an overly sensitive person, I think it helps to turn off the TV and not read too many reports of this event. You have to find a work around in your own life to brunt evil's effect on your person. Working out being a good way. Doing acts of kindness. Hugging and loving on people in your life. Making a concerted effort not to act with hate in your heart.

    You cannot control others no matter what you might think. Evil is nothing new. Evil is not local to our country. Imagine the grief now being played out in many Syrian households or Malian homes...

    I am not totally in love with being reactionary. No locking up people with autism, banning the shy, banning guns or knives or a clenched fist. It does not change root cause. It won't change reality into a fictional lovefest.

    Yep. Dour. But useful. You control you. When you can figure this out then life becomes a little easier. You feel for these families, are sickened by the tragedy and evil, but you do not let it cripple you. If you do, you are forever a victim.

    Don't take this as being callous. Everything in me wants to wail, but that would be ineffective. It feels good to lash out and act in impulse, but that yields... what?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree Munchberry, that more hate is not the answer, and that tragic loss from violence is frighteningly common all over the world. And yeah, feeling like a victim doesn't help anything either!

      Delete
  11. What's bothering me most about this, two days later, is the attention being paid to the murderer. Think about it: you can probably name at least three serial killers, three mass murderers, and at least a couple of the 9/11 hijackers/masterminds off the top of your head...but how many murder victims' names can you recall? From Jack the Ripper to John Wayne Gacy to Ed Gein to this fucking piece of inhuman evil, we know their names and their crimes but forget the thousands who've died at their hands. This one obviously had a plan: if it was his mother he was angry with, why not just kill her and then kill himself? Because then he'd be in the local news for a couple of days and forgotten. But hey, kill your mom, then go break into a school and take out as many of the youngest students as you can, putting a bullet in your own head as the police arrive on the scene, and your name will go down in history. And that's what he's done. As a parent of kids just a few years older than the nearly two dozen he slaughtered, and as a friend of many in teaching and education, I shudder just thinking about what these families will go through for the rest of their lives. But the sad truth is, I will remember the murderer's name for the rest of *my* life, and I'll hear all about *his* childhood and his motives, etc. The saddest thing is, all the talk and laws in the world won't matter. If he couldn't have stolen guns from his mother, he'd have stolen them from someone else. School security protocol didn't fail; he broke in, undetected, apparently, through a window. Teachers are not soldiers and should not be expected to carry weapons in the classroom. When a criminal is determined to commit a crime and has no regard for consequences (i.e., he is planning to kill himself before being captured), there is NOTHING that can stop him. That is the downside of the human will.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree Norma, it's so important to remember the victims and not sensationalize and glorify the madmen who do these sort of things. Yet I imagine there's probably already a few movies and a slew of books on the drawing boards, to satisfy the ghoulish need of people to know every last horrible detail. Sigh.

      Delete
  12. The best way for me to deal is to not be continually plugged in to the reports, but to read only a couple of things a day, and let them spur me on to action of some sort that makes a difference.

    Thanks for bringing it up, Crabby. We all need to, and to keep doing so, because there will always be evil, and we will always need to fight it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Messymimi, I think turning off the tv is an excellent idea! How to fight evil is a question I have no answer for, but I don't think it involves staying glued to sensationalistic reports and reliving the horror over and over.

      Delete
  13. Thank you for this post reminding us to be in this moment. What drove it home for me is when you said "Opportunities for compassion are not infinite and unlimited." All our good intentions are for naught if you don't act on them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Norma, and true of so many things! Good intentions have a way of falling by the wayside all too often.

      Delete
  14. Yes, it's affecting me more than I thought--have no ties to the community nor any children of my own, but it's absolutely gut wrenching :(

    ReplyDelete
  15. LOVE this!!! I so agree with this: I hope this grief rouses us into taking a stand against special interests and politics as usual, and that we, as a country, confront the insanity that is our gun legislation... and more importantly this: a reminder to love, to appreciate, to reach out, to be open and gentle and careful with others, whomever they may be. Because.... well, one never knows when tragedy might suddenly strike. Opportunities for compassion are not infinite and unlimited.

    Life is precious. And sometimes all too short.

    Love... today.

    YOU SAID IT PERFECTLY JAN!!!! Many are not blogging tomorrow. I am.. to remember but also to live & let others know that this can not deter me from living yet I still remember & grieve for those lost & their loved ones.....

    Such a heart felt post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Jody and I'm looking forward to seeing what you have to say. I think posting or not posting is a personal choice and neither one is "right," as we all find our own way to deal with subjects that touch us.

      Delete
  16. I felt nauseous and weepy when I heard about it.

    Thanks for the reminder about compassion...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Compassion is something that's so easy to forget, I really struggle with that one! Thanks Drea.

      Delete
  17. Dear Crabby and everyone - I started to try to "detach" initially, but then read your post and changed course. Better to be in the moment and feel the feelings and - as you so rightfully say - put the love out there. We need it always - even more so right now. Thank you for your lovely and compelling words. They help us heal by doing. Anon

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm with you; more love is always good... especially in the wake of senseless tragedies like this one. Thanks so much anon.

      Delete
  18. Aftеr explοring a hаndful of
    the blog posts on youг blog, Ι гeally like уour ωay of writing a blog.
    Ι book-marked it tο my bоokmark sіte
    list аnd will be сheсking baсk in
    thе near futuгe. Please viѕіt my ωеb
    site аѕ ωell anԁ tell me what yοu think.
    Also visit my blog post symptoms of influenza

    ReplyDelete
  19. just making it to my monday blog reading.

    you are an amazing writer.
    and yes. words do heal.

    co

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for commenting, Cranky Fitness readers are the BEST!

Subscribe to comments via RSS

(Note: Older Comment Threads Are Moderated)