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They were just babies.

Monday, December 17, 2012

While driving this morning, they announced the names of the victims. They were first graders. Elisabeth is a first grader. I don't pretend to understand the mindset that can do such a thing, that can look into the eyes of 6 and 7 year old babies and just... pull the trigger. The only thing that I can possibly wrap my head around is that man was very, very, very sick. Maybe psychotic. It's the only thing that my mind will accept.

I had to stop the car, because the tears blinded me so badly I couldn't see the road. My babies. Imagine going to pick up your babies from school, and _they're not there_. And never will be again. I can't imagine that. I won't imagine that.

I've tried to stay away from the news coverage; the pictures are enough to reduce me to tears. But hearing those names, imagining those little faces, so like my daughter's 1st grade class. Missing teeth, dimples, blue eyes, black, and green. Blonde and brown.

I'm still on the border of tears right now. Tonight, I think I'm going to do some special things with my girls. Unlike my usual policies, I haven't let them hear about it; I hope they don't at school. It's a selfish choice; normally, I don't hide things, I don't run from the tough questions, and I tell them the realities of death, and life, and crime, and everything.

But this? This is just _too much_ for me. I can't even keep my voice from cracking when I told my husband that they were all first graders. I'm not ready to answer my girls' questions. I will, when the time comes, but I hope that they don't have to face that for a little longer. Just another day. Please.

I know, a little, what it's like to be the part of a family who has a member just... lose it. I have a great aunt... _had_ a great aunt, who killed her daughter, her husband, and herself. This was a very dear great uncle, too. She was never the kind of person who could hurt anyone, much less herself and her own daughter. She lived for her family. One day, she just... broke.

I don't know what happened with this young man. Some reports say he was autistic, but I don't know that that would really be a part of it. I'm betting he probably had other mental issues, too. I know what that's like, too; my husband has been psychotic. They are not rational. They do not see the world normally.

So I don't know. I'm rambling, trying to keep myself from losing it right now. From running up to the school, pulling my girls out, homeschooling them, never letting them out of my sight.

I know that's not a reasonable reaction, and it's not very rational, either. But I can't help but have the impulse. After all, they go to a quiet school. A nice community. Where people talk and love each other and laugh. Where these things don't happen.

But they do happen. They can happen here, they can happen anywhere.

I don't know what the answer is. I don't think there IS an answer. It's not media, or lack of gun laws, or anything. If we want to lay the blame somewhere, I'm betting it's lack of adequate mental health care. But I don't think even that is all the answer, because as most of us can attest, there are plenty of people with mental health issues that do not seek treatment, either willingly refusing or as a part of their own disease. Even with stellar mental health care, this can still happen.

All we can do is cling to our loved ones, and hope it never, ever happens again.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Evil is out there and there is not much one can do about it. My heart goes out to everyone that meets with evil in their lives.
    2001 days ago
  • BILL60
    What a waste!! To see those beautiful little innocent people perish is difficult to stomach. As we search for a solution, I pray does it does not ever happen, not only here, but in our total world.
    2007 days ago
    I also start to cry when I hear news talking about the kids. I can't imagine being in those parent's situation.
    2008 days ago
  • IRISH813
    2008 days ago
    First thing to understand is that your reaction to never want to let your kids out of your sight again is NORMAL. You are allowed to have thoughts of going to extremes to protect your kids. There is nothing wrong with believing for just a moment that if you can keep your kids with you nothing bad could ever happen to them. It is a part of your grief for the loss of the status quo. When you can allow those thoughts then remember why those actions will not be wholly helpful then you'll be ready to make more reasonable judgements about how to act.

    Second, please remember that in our overly connected society there is no way to completely protect your kids from hearing about bad events - at least not without removing yourself completely from society and never having human contact outside of your family. It's better to talk to your kids about it on your terms than to have them exposed to it by someone else and have them believe they will be next. Speak with them on their level about how bad things happen BUT parents, teachers, and other adults are doing everything you can to protect them. Help them know that they are a part of the plan for their protection - if they feel their life is in danger they should run to an adult they trust. Bad events can rob children (and adults) of feeling they have control over their lives. By talking to them about how they can take part in their own protection you give them back feelings of control and power over what happens to them.

    Think about what happens with children who learn about sex from their peers, tv, or online. They get wrong ideas, they begin to feel shame about themselves and the act of sex and making love, and it is hard for them to recover a healthy sense of sexuality. When parents talk with their children about sex in a way that their children understand (as little kids it's that mommy and daddy make babies, as they get older talk about their body parts, then about how the body functions for sex, about how much love matters in the act of sex, and eventually the pros, cons, and consequences from sex) it helps mold how that child will handle the discussion when parents are not around. It should be the same for discussions about bad events - parents need to control the conversation not avoid it.

    I know everyone wants to know WHY. Why do bad things happen? How about why do good things happen? Life is a combination of great and horrible events, and how we handle every event is what shapes who we are.

    Do your best not to hide from the news, but don't seek it out. Take time to learn the facts about what happened, then step away and allow yourself to process it. Discuss it with your kids but don't pretend like you have all the answers. Feel the emotions and allow them to feel their emotions. Hold your kids tighter - it's a great idea to do that during the good times also. If you feel that you or your kids are becoming depressed or extremely affected for long periods of time (if you're paralyzed with fear at the thought of letting your kids out of your sight or a month from now waking up in a cold sweat from nightmares) then seek help from a professional. Grief from loss is natural, but being unable to function from it for long periods of time needs to be addressed by someone trained to help people cope.

    There are beautiful things in the world, even during tragedy. Remind yourself of the beauty every now and again to help ground yourself. Surround yourself with pictures of your kids, nature, cute animals, etc. You can calm yourself to help cope.
    2008 days ago
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    2008 days ago
    2008 days ago
    I hurt. The shooting of innocent children and such fine people like teachers and the principle is mind numbing. I am in denial. This just can't be true! It feels so personal. We lost so many loving children and the best sort adults. Words fail to describe the horror.

    2008 days ago
    Thanks it is a hard thing to deal with...I stuck my head in the sand and have not come up for air yet. I do not look up anything about the shooting..... it is too hard to live with.
    2008 days ago
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