Newtown CT children returned to school today; parents nervously took kids to bus stops, to school entrances, to Monroe County where the desks from their school Sandy Hook had been moved to. Most kids want to get back to their friends, back to school, they WANT to get back to their routines and their friends.
The neighboring school in Monroe has a welcome sign out for those little ones and their parents of welcome now; they are doing all that they can to let them know they will be loved, educated, made safe now.
Security is ramped up with a police presence there, staff have been de-briefed as best they can, their tears have been put “in check” for the day, and they have their best warpaint on to honor and protect their charge of the students, the precious ones.
Parents, grandparents, friends in that tight knit community will pace today, some will gather for coffee and linger with each other with cell phones in hand, while checking their watches each few minutes and praying that the bell soon rings and the day ends safely.
They all will be hyper vigilant for a long time to come. They have survived the first of many burials yesterday, the lines long, the tributes and tears filling the rooms and the arms extended to each other.
Many have probably now turned off the televisions and are opting for music of CD’s not wanting further exposure and replays or discussions by those on air.
The Nation is mourning and many are wondering how they can celebrate Christmas without feeling guilty knowing of such profound grief and knowing they are children that belong to all of us; parents, siblings, grandparents, uncles and aunts that are the brothers and sisters of the world at large.
In the circle of life we are all connected, we are all a part of each other, yet at times the circle feels broken and so very different.
These past few days the circle has felt as though is has been destroyed, the more we have heard the more we have been thrown into a state of disequilibrium and secondary trauma, vicarious pain; the stages all have felt when grief and pain of loss come into our own home and heart, yet so very different in so many ways.
WE can learn from the children there; we can follow their lead now.
It will benefit us in the long run, our everyday lives.
We can heal through knowing that the children will heal and will want to know what they want to know in their time.
They will grieve horribly at much too tender an age, and yet they will balance their pain with an unadulterated shift and then want to play with wild abandon, and feel no need to apologize for that.
There will be moments when they seem to deny that this can happen, just as we do.
Elisabeth Kubler Ross still is relevent in her work on dying and death and meant for those stages to run into each other, some to occur at the same time and be zig zag in their experiences while going back and forth in their happenings.
This is not a linear experience friends.
One can go from denial to anger, to accepting the reality, to depression so quickly and begin again that it will boggle the mind while the heart is heavy; yet there still can be hope in healing and joy in Christmas while hugging the angels and those that are here.
Yes it is a horrible moment in history, an unimaginable thing has happened in Newtown CT., and our hearts are heavy knowing of the funerals that are now being planned and will overwhelm the senses and the hearts there.
From the 4 leggeds that are pets looking out the window for those children to return home, to the first responders who were there and saw sights, sounds, smells en mass, to the parents that waited and prayed with all their might that their child would be safe. From the teens of those little ones that had scruffed the heads of little ones and kicked them out of their bedrooms the night before thinking they were such a pain in the butt, to the parents who hugged them but set boundaries with them, they are and will always be precious children, all gone to soon.
When the American Red Cross spoke of having stuffed animals to hand out, to allow folks there to pick for their snuggle buddies along with blankets to wrap in; I found silent tears streak my face. Yes that was what was needed. Not words just action.
In the days ahead kids will soon be out of school for the holidays, they will now be attending funerals; parents there will be arranging time for all the children to be together, to gather, to lean in as a community.
Lines will be long, parking will be scarce.
Memorials will line the schools and the street corners. We will hear stories of those who died and those who survived.
We can learn from those in Newtown, we can and we will embrace hope in these holidays from tragedy, and we will find sentences, looks from the children, the parents that will fill our hearts in hope, which will sustain our pain and move us through this numbed state.
just as those in Newtown, there will come a time when we will be angry, we will get and be so very angry that we want to scream it out.
and not necessarily in that order, and not in a neat line, we will feel all that and so much more.
This will take time, it will take work, it will take more than we and Newtown at times thinks we have … but if we take the lead from most of those precious surviving children, we will do this.
Just as a marathon runner wins a race, we must remember to breathe, one breath a time, and one step at a time.
Today, most children there in Newtown returned to school, most parents had the courage to hand them over to the schools and to trust that the bad man is dead; that they will learn today, that they are doing the best that they can.
If they can do this in the aftermath of tragedy, surely we can.
Dig deep, find and hold tight to faith, compassion, kindness.
There are more good people out there than ever will be bad.
When talking to the children, let them be your lead, keep it simple, do not overwhelm them with more than they can hear. Always speak the truth, with honesty. Be cautious to not do the “whisper” around them, nor send them away to talk. Involve them as they will know that something is so wrong it will instill fear where there is an opportunity to let them feel safe while educating them. Allow them the opportunity to be a part of what is or has happened… When asked why are you crying, tell them.
Do not be surprised if they say, “I’m good for now, I’m going to go play”.
Use that as your cue that balance is key.
May you find the strength to move your energy into life today and listen to music, to embrace it fiercely and play.
Walk in Beauty
WE know there are angels dancing on clouds now, playing with the Ancestors safely
- A Prayer, Tears, and Embrace (biltrix.com)
- New Angels from Newtown Connecticut (obedientdefiance.com)
- Mourning for Newtown CT and all our children (drses.wordpress.com)
- Peace, Love and Understanding (trydefyinggravity.wordpress.com)
- Grief-Stricken, Helping Newtown, and Saying Thank You (crazyadventuresinparenting.com)
- A Father Mourns the Loss of His Daughter’s Best Friend (wnyc.org)