There are no words that can possibly express what I’m feeling tonight as I write this, and what I am sure almost everyone is feeling. One of my friends put it best: words are hollow. There is nothing to say. So let’s not. For just a little while, let’s not.
But I can’t not say anything, because writing is cathartic for me. I know I am not the best writer, so if you don’t care to read any more on this horrific subject, I understand.
Today around lunchtime, I heard about “a shooting at an elementary school in Connecticut.” The headline was vague and I was teaching all day (today’s my busy day) and so I didn’t get to read anything. I “chalked it up,” as awful as that sounds, hoping it was a lovers’ quarrel or something. Something with adults. Something that happened to take place at an elementary school, but which really had nothing to do with an elementary school.
Then, after school, I had a flurry of kids in my room and I still didn’t know.
More accurately, I had No. Idea.
And then, when I was down to only one kid in my room, I got to see the headline that said there were 18 dead. And then I clicked again, and I saw it was mostly kids in a kindergarten classroom.
And I had to stop myself from throwing up on my desk.
I started to sob, and I could barely get the words out.
I closed my laptop, locked it up, and walked out of my room. Trembling, I put on my jacket and scarf and grabbed my purse. I walked next door to Victoria’s room and she looked at me and I started to sob again as I got out the words.
“That shooting? (sob, sob) The one we saw at lunch? (SOB SOB) 18 kindergarteners were killed.”
And I sobbed and sobbed and she came and hugged me and I hugged her back and told her I had to go.
I left early; I couldn’t get to CAM fast enough.
And, as with almost everything in this world, I thought too much about too much.
I haven’t stopped thinking, actually, and I have cried a whole lot tonight. I don’t cry about the news, really, ever. I get sad or angry or feel terribly bad for people, but I don’t cry; and tonight I can’t stop crying.
There is a photo I’ve now seen countless times on our news, of a mother with long brown hair with a cell phone to her ear. She looks to be in in absolute despair. The look on her face as she is getting the worst news of her life will haunt me forever. I have seen that photo so many times and I can not begin to imagine the feeling of that woman. My heart aches for her more than I have ever ached for anything else.
My Facebook newsfeed, of course, is a flurry of anti-gun sentiment and even, among my overseas friends, anti-American sentiments.
I find it to be a tasteless, all-too-American response to a tragedy. Within a millisecond, place the blame. We. Must. Blame. Someone.
One of my friends posted a graphic that said that everyone’s coming up with “solutions,” but sometimes we just can not fix evil. I reposted it.
Maybe I am crazy, but I don’t think that it’s appropriate to play this political anti-gun-blame-someone game within hours of such a tragedy. Regardless of one’s stand on guns, gun availability, gun control – now is not the time. Perhaps I just have the wrong friends. But what I saw on Facebook broke my heart. It was ignorant; it was arrogant; it was almost, even, smug. “This is awful and here’s why it happened and here’s how we fix it, and I can’t believe we’ve even having this conversation, it’s so obvious and you must be so stupid to need it spelled out.”
Because people have just lost their lives. Precious kindergarteners, among the most innocent of all innocents, died today at the hands of a psychopath.
I’d like to honor their lives, mourn their deaths, and pray for their families.
So, those of you that are busily blaming guns and people and laws and everything else, we’re not friends anymore. Forgive my own crassness in saying this, but this decision has nothing to do with your politics, and everything to do with your lack of class.
Another friend of mine sat in the car pick-up line this afternoon to get her daughter from school, and remarked about how there are 20 parents who sent their kids off to school today and will never get to see them again.
I pray for them. With all my heart and all I can do, I pray for them.