I’ve not gotten to the anger; nor have I spent time mulling points of law. Truth is, I haven’t yet been able to make it through a whole hour without bursting into tears. If I put my thoughts behind the eyes of the parents and their families, even for a moment, I’m torn up with their unfathomable loss and incomparable sorrow. My brother and his wife live in Newtown with their three children; we grew up just miles from there. Their kids attend other schools and are safe and well. But they know people, they have friends, who cannot say the same. The stunned numbness in their somber voices, the long pauses to collect themselves while they attempt again to comprehend, even here at this distance, devastates.
I need no further details of the event, no more heart-rending media affectation tugging at my strings. I know enough now to break my heart a thousand times over. It’s already surreal and vivid enough … an indelible engram. My moments are spent now in quiet thought and prayer for those who suffer, and for all of us trying to understand and make sense. And, I suppose, in thinking how best to reassure my own daughters that we are safe, that all is well, even while I’m choking back and not entirely convinced myself. Even now, as they argue in the next room, I’m grateful for the mayhem, grateful that it’s still there. And I well up again.
Energy, in particular good energy (like compassion and love and kindness), is a remarkable healer. I believe that the immeasurable suffering right now is so powerful that it is felt, sometimes even physically, like a shockwave by us all, everywhere. In the same way, we can muster and channel all of our healing and compassionate energy and send it powerfully, wave-like back to them. And I believe they will feel it, and that it will help them. And the more of us who do it, and the more focused we are, the more they will benefit. As in other times of great suffering, people demonstrate remarkable capacity for love and caring. I know that in the coming days and weeks, we’ll bear witness to some truly beautiful humanity. My hope for us all is that we take this with us as we push ahead, that we do not forget it and return to our hurried and absent ways.
May the deep sadness we share give way to a lasting recognition of the true unity that connects us all. May we keep kindness, compassion, and empathy as the motivation for all our actions and words. May we choose togetherness and mindfulness, peace and calm, over acquisition and constant distraction. May we take time to look deeply and truthfully at ourselves and our world and recognize that things are not as they ought to be. May we be brave and push ourselves to change, for the benefit of us all. May we simply be softer and more gentle, and love more fully and more often.