My ROW80 check-in is at the bottom of this post.
I tried to post Friday evening, when I first heard about the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. I just wanted to express my sorrow for all who lost loved ones, and my admiration for the teachers who protected the children to the best of their ability. I found I couldn’t write anything, drowned by anger, despair and fear.
In the interim, others have expressed themselves well about teachers here and here.
My sons, not surprisingly, had very different reactions to the news. My oldest refused to watch the news coverage, and has buried himself in studying for finals, music, and video games. My youngest wanted to talk, although at some point he also made me turn off the news, saying I had cried enough for one day. He pointed out that the media was feeding into the attention seeking that often motivates these killers, by talking about the numbers of the victims, later giving their names, mentioning the killer’s name and background.
More unsettling to me, though, was the post that Myndi Shafer pointed to, in which a mother talks about her struggles with a son with violent tendencies. The pendulum has swung too far. From the fear of institutionalizing people who do not fit into someone’s idea of normal, our society robs parents and loved ones of any recourse until after these people have done something criminal. I have no answers, but I hope the inevitable rhetoric will look at these issues as well.
I don’t have much to report. I have finished rough drafts of two articles for the day job. I don’t have much of a break for the holidays, so my holiday spirit has taken off for the hills lately. I’m trying to make up for it by working more so that my colleagues can take some time off. I’m throwing ideas into files, but not feeling the muse’s vibe much these days.
I hope that everyone is still going strong into the final days of this Round, and look forward to seeing all of you in the next Round. If you have a chance, please visit someone, or two, in the group here.
7 thoughts on “Dona eis requiem”
I’m still trying to wrap my mind around this horrific tragedy. I just read the link from Myndi Shafer. A worthwhile read, for sure. Mental illness needs to be addressed. Arguing about gun control and ignoring the mental illness issue is inexcusable at this point, after witnessing so many of these deadly shootings. Thanks for the link, Elizabeth. Take care.
Poignant post, Elizabeth, and thank you for the Myndi Shafer link. To me, it is the heart of this matter and maybe it is the place to start the discussion. I don’t know of anyone who has gotten much done since Friday and beyond that, the season itself is not conducive to writing. Having issues with that myself but what a wonderful thing you are doing for your colleagues.
Thank you, Elizabeth. I have a first grader (who is blissfully unaware of what happened), and I can’t even fathom what these families are going through. My heart goes out to the entire community.
I understand your tears over the tragedy. I keep thinking about all those Christmas presents under the tree for those children who will never open them. That brings tears to my eyes. I grieve so much for the parents of these children.
I haven’t been writing either, after my father’s illness and death, then finding out about my own health problems. But we have to learn to cope. I hope to come back full steam ahead in the next round. I hope to see you doing the same thing!
I find tragedies like these too difficult to accept. And yet we must. It reminds me once again how much we should grab each precious day of life and do with it as much as possible. In some way, if we don’t, it’s like allowing their lives to be lost without lessons being learned, which only adds to the burden of their loss as a whole. God bless their families – Their lives will never be the same, but I hope they can be good again, and soon. X
My children, too, responded according to their natures. Both watched the Friday coverage with me, for a little while. Lise was mostly satisfied with that. Miah and I had a few conversations, not too long or deep, over the weekend, and on Monday he chose to watch a show about the shootings, “because I feel like I should honor those children who died.”
Although I would have rathered not, I watched with him.
My feelings are so conflicted. I think of the holidays – not only Christmas, but also Hanukkah – I think at least one of the children was Jewish, and Friday was the seventh night of the holiday…
And I think of those twenty children who did not have their parents with them when they died, and of their parents, who waited frantically for children who would never fling themselves into their arms again…
And I think of the staff – the teachers, the principal, others – who protected so many, but could not possibly provide as much solace as is required, and who need it as much as any other…
And I think of the shooter, who must have been in tremendous pain and crisis to commit such an act, and I wonder what his life was, what deep needs within him went unmet, and what might have been changed if he had not been somehow broken so badly and irreparably…
I hug my children who’ve never gone to school, and I am full of so very much wanting to get out, but not yet ready to be put into words….
Thank you for this. I needed to read it.
My ROW has stuttered to a near-stop, at the moment, and I feel that is what I need. It seems fitting, to pause, and ponder, and feel…