Friday, December 14, 2012

Grieving Our Tragedy (some resources and perspective)

What a terrible, senseless day. We feel rocked, frightened, angry, lost, & broken at the deaths/loss of so many children and adults in the Connecticut elementary school shooting. I felt my reaction in my whole body. Heat. Tears. A need to run--move--help--DO.
Statue of Jesus Weeping, OKC, OK. I took this photo near the Murrah Bombing Memorial Site--across from the actual memorial, built by a church. So many children lost there, as well.

I have no words of comfort or hope, even though I know time may bring those things. Now we mourn. Now we search, and weep, and reach out to each other.

A friend of mine, Sarah Jacks (LPC intern), offered some excellent wisdom I must share. She graduated from the counseling program with me, and is completing her counseling hours toward her licensure.

Sarah says, "Turn your TV off and pray. Connecticut needs out prayers. You do not need consistent, traumatizing coverage." 

Do grieve. Do pray. Do meditate and think. Do not traumatize yourself. These brokenhearted mommas & daddies & friends & lovers need our support and strength. No sliver of information garnered from consistent news watching will ever tell us why.

Sarah also provides resources for talking to children about violence: herehere. Her blog is

I suggest one other thing. Please look into your life, and pay attention to the signs of troubled persons. We in no way bear the blame as victims. My words serve to build bridges, not lay blame.

A personal story. I saw an angry rant on an acquaintance's Facebook page. A military person (not my acquaintance) posted vitriolic, racist words, and threats to kill  members of the community he "serves" in. Unsure what to do, I called local police, who connected me with military intelligence. This occurred after the soldier in Afghanistan shot and killed so many. I don't know where the investigation went. But, I refuse to let politeness, discomfort, or excuses keep me from paying attention to real signs of disordered thinking. I sincerely hope this person received emotional support, psychological treatment, or the attention he needs.   

Today's tragedy moved me to impotent anger, to wordless prayers, and deep sadness. This inhuman act will never make sense. Never be explained. Burrow into your sorrow--we must acknowledge the pain--but do not forget your life, your loved ones. Do not listen to ignorant voices who will parse moments, and attribute human inhumanity to God. Be present to the people you share space with. God be with us.

Addendum--just saw that my mom posted this--may it be so:
The Lord is close to the broken hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalms 34:18

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