We would like the residents of Connecticut to know that they have been in our thoughts and prayers these last several days. We know that no words can repair your torn community, no blog entry can replace the lives lost in such a traumatic and life altering manner, and no act of kindness can make anything complete again for you. For that, we apologize.
You are not suffering alone. Children do not belong to just one place, they belong to the world. Teachers and staff members who nurture them in the absence of their parents’ presence are stewards for a brighter tomorrow. We all feel your loss to some measure, because each of us has been impacted by children and teachers in our own unique way, and none of us can imagine the unbearable future you must face with these shining lights taken from you too soon. We mourn with you, we sob for you, and we wish to help you in any way we can.
Those of us who feel the pain of their loss and grief are often left feeling helpless. There seems to be nothing we can do to change things or make them better, yet we feel compelled to take action. At a time when remaining immobile feels wrong but nothing is enough to help the citizens of Newtown, we offer the following suggestions:
-Send a card or a letter... to anyone. Send one to Newtown, to someone you love, to a random stranger who needs a better day. Sharing love is a gift in itself.
-Donate to the United Way fund set up for Newtown residents.
-Make a donation to any charity, or sponsor a child this Christmas, in honor of one of the several people who lost their lives.
-Take a moment to write thank you notes to your children’s teachers, or send a thoughtful gift to show you appreciate them. All of the adults who lost their lives in the Sandy Hook school last Friday were lost protecting America’s children; give your child’s teacher recognition for their dedication.
-Write a note of appreciation to your first responders, who risk lifelong trauma and enter dangerous situations to save others.
-Support the Sandy Hook PurpleCircle Project, which has currently raised hundreds of dollars to help apply funds for a brighter future for Newtown residents.
-Spend time with your children. Unfortunately, we cannot change that some parents can never again spend time with their children, but many of us are lucky enough to share another day with ours. Do not let that day go to waste. Carve out time you don’t feel like you have for one more game, one extra book at bedtime, or even just crawl into bed with them for ten minutes and hold them. You will never regret investing time into your children, and if nothing else good can come from a tragedy of this magnitude, make sure it at least impacts your decisions at home.
Be present, be available, and honor the lives lost by continuing to set a positive example for change and love with your own.