hope for aching hearts

Today the unthinkable happened.

Sandy Hook: Tragedy. Chaos. Pure Craziness on a beautiful, crisp Friday morning.

Somewhere along the way, somehow, something very wrong happened and someone’s life became such a mess that he took it upon himself to destroy the lives of others. Innocent people.

This isn’t new. It happened earlier this week in a mall in Oregon. It happened in a movie theater in Colorado this summer. It happened in a Sikh temple earlier this year. It happened…

Today it happened in my backyard; in Connecticut. It happened to little kids. Kids the same age as my nephew. It happened to educators; people who have given their lives over to helping others. THAT is my backyard; in fact, kids and educators? THAT is   my front yard.

And when something awful happens so close to home…

Anger. Sadness. Confusion. Helplessness. All of this swirling around and around…I’m not quite sure what to do with how I feel about this and I am an adult. An adult with some pretty seriously intact emotional wherewithal.

So, where does a tragedy like this leave our kids? Likely, angry, sad, confused and feeling helpless. (We really are just bigger versions of them in so many ways.)

I’m not an expert on kids. I don’t have my own. But I do spend a lot of time with other people’s kids and I can’t stop thinking about them and kids all over the country tonight. And here is what I hope for them in the coming days…

I hope they get hugged by their parents. Long and true hugs; the kind that feel like ending the hug is unthinkable. I want my kids to know that they are loved, deeply and unconditionally and not just because something bad happened today.

I hope they can talk with their families and loved ones about all that has happened; that they can get the information they feel they need without getting too much information that might make them hurt more. I hope they can have conversations about this tragedy, honest conversations, so they can move through the muck, put it into context and process what has happened in a healthy way.

I hope they have someone who will listen to them. Someone who will listen to their hurt, their confusion about how something so terrible could happen; someone who will listen to their fear and just be there for them without telling them not to be afraid. If they are afraid, than that is theirs to feel. I hope someone will just hold that fear with them so it doesn’t feel so heavy.

I hope they have at least one adult who can put aside their own anxiety and anger and sadness to just really be there for them.

I hope they turn off their TVs and choose to spend their time with people they love doing things that they love, rather than being saturated with all of the craziness on TV. We need the media, but sometimes, it’s just too much for our hearts. Kids’ hearts need less media, enough said.

I hope they will know that if they are ever so troubled that they feel like they might break, that they reach out. That they come to a parent or an aunt or uncle or neighbor or teacher or school counselor or friend and say, “I need help,” before things get out of hand.

I hope they will look at all of this ugliness and see a little bit of something good. Because in all of this tragedy there is a whole lot of humanity; there are a whole lot of people flooding a grieving community with love. I hope they will see how people hold other people up, how strength isn’t about muscle, it’s about heart.

I hope they will know that their innocence, their wonder, their youthful energy is still in them, even though it feels like it’s been lost today. That their strength is what reminds us that while all seems crazy in this moment and while sometimes life goes off the rails, the world is full of goodness and compassion.

My heart aches for the families of Newtown and for children all across our country whose lives will be forever changed by what happened today.

I know that my heart is just one in a collective of hearts, billions, that ache tonight.

We are a collective; a community of hearts, so, let’s be there for each other. Not just because something bad has happened, but every day.

Let’s really be there for each other every single day.





16 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Liza Sue
    Dec 14, 2012 @ 21:48:57

    love you sister xoxo


  2. mcglam
    Dec 14, 2012 @ 21:53:16

    I love you, too, Liza. Thanks for the extra long hug tonight.


  3. Liza
    Dec 14, 2012 @ 21:55:10

    Thank you for putting in such beautiful words what I am feeling in my heart.


  4. mcglam
    Dec 14, 2012 @ 21:56:31

    (Liza Sandwich! Yay!) xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo


  5. Scott Goldsmith
    Dec 14, 2012 @ 22:20:40

    Well said Susana (sorry for the spelling). I am going to turn off my computer and go tuck my girls in.
    This may take a while…..


  6. Christopher Ortiz
    Dec 14, 2012 @ 22:50:45

    Thank you… I honestly am a bit overwhelmed by everything today so I am going to share your words… because I don’t seem to have any.
    Every day…be there… every day.


  7. Becky
    Dec 14, 2012 @ 22:57:15

    You brought me the first sense of hope and peace that I’ve had all day. Like
    Chris, I haven’t had the words, so have shared yours with other broken hearts.
    I love you.


  8. CTJPMarie
    Dec 14, 2012 @ 23:29:53

    Thank you…


  9. Heather
    Dec 15, 2012 @ 01:47:47

    Thank you as always for sharing your blog with us all.


  10. Michael McGlamery
    Dec 15, 2012 @ 08:17:10

    Beautifully stated Susannah, with your sentiments aimed in exactly the right direction. So close, “in our back yard”, this massacre feels so personal, making feelings of helplessness, anger more intense than usual. For me, Newtown has been a beautiful motorcycle destination with its Blue Colony Diner, cozy New England flavor and twisty, tree-lined roads. It is also the home of Hartford’s Jimmy Greene, who lost a daughter in this tragedy. So close! So painful, but your words bring hope that things will be better.


  11. karen walson
    Dec 15, 2012 @ 18:15:14

    Well said Susannah. I haven’t known you for long- but I have noticed you have a way of eloquently summing up what is difficult to explain.


  12. John Brittain
    Dec 15, 2012 @ 20:01:22

    Susannah: I liked this paragraph the best in your post about seeing goodness even amidst “ugliness.” Your wrote, “I hope they will look at all of this ugliness and see a little bit of something good. Because in all of this tragedy there is a whole lot of humanity; there are a whole lot of people flooding a grieving community with love.


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