Tuesday, December 18, 2012

I sometimes hate the question Why?

I’ve been trying to deal with the tragedy in Connecticut since hearing about it last week. This is going to be my final post on this. Hopefully, by expressing myself I’ll find a little peace. I refuse to watch news reports, because what really can be said? A troubled person took all those beautiful lives. He woke up, and without a thought to anyone decided people, including children needed to die
. He did this and left no explanation, not that one would be understood or accepted. Cowardly, he took his own life, once again taking answers with him. But more importantly he took a target away for our upset. There is no one to confront with all the various emotions coursing through us. So what do we do in this modern age of social media…we turn to Facebook. No matter how well intentioned (perhaps this is a way to deal with the feelings of the posters) this tragedy has been turned into a quasi-political jump off point. This to me only makes this tragedy even bigger. This isn’t a golden opportunity to push either side’s agenda. And it’s just like the presidential debate; neither side is going to listen to the other so why start this right now. There is a time and place for this but not now. Now is the time for grieving.

There wasn’t just one particular thing that made this happen. It was a series of things…it was the thought process first and foremost of a person who clearly had mental health issues. I hope if anything…our mental health response will be looked at. I hope society will stop turning a blind eye away from things. Will you, as a stranger now perhaps comment on a behavior you witness that may be off? If you’re gut is saying “there is something wrong with this person.” Will you walk away or will you address your gut feelings and say something, thereby helping someone? What if you know the person? Will you make excuses, ignore the warning signs? Or will you be brave and say something. Everyone wants to be a hero, here’s your chance.

These parents who are burying their children a week before Christmas are putting in the ground the best parts of themselves. They are burying more than just a child. They are burying hopes, dreams, laughter, love…they are putting to rest our future in many ways. We’ll never know what these children could have contributed to society. Maybe one of them would have come up with the cure for a horrible cancer, or maybe one of them would have been president. One of them may have grown to become an amazing humanitarian. Or maybe they would have had small lives, being hero’s only to the people who surrounded them, they would have gone to work, paid bills, argued with their children about homework, would have eventually say “because I’m the parent, that’s why? To a question their child would have asked. They would have stayed up late putting bikes and other things together on Christmas Eve. In short they would have been living a life fulfilled. A “normal” life with all the joys and sorrows we all feel eventually. These parents will never know the joys of seeing their children graduate, fall in love. They will never have the chance to counsel and help their child through a difficult situation and then see them shine. They will never be able to hold their grandchildren. The reality of this is so far reaching it hard to quantify.

Instead, for whatever reason Heaven has 26 new angels. My heart breaks for the first responders who came to that scene and witnessed what they saw. There is nothing that will ever take those pictures out of their heads. The raw horror, sadness to see those little bodies lying where they fell. We can imagine, we can speculate on what that scene looked like. I can also promise you nothing we conjure in our minds eye will come close to what they witnessed. These are the unsung heroes. Tonight when you say your prayers, please make sure you’re including these men and women. They need your prayers as much as anyone…maybe even more…

I have come to the conclusion over the past few days that the question of WHY? will forever truly never be answered. We can guess, speculate, commentate, or even gossip about what we think is the cause. We can pick fights and argue over the reason this happened. We can assign blame to something but it won’t undo this tragedy, nor will it prevent more of the same. We will all fall back into our daily lives, eventually, this always being in the background, we will continue to go to work, pay our bills, and live our lives until the news reports another tragedy. I suggest we give ourselves time to grieve, while we respect the feelings and wishes of the families directly affected. And when dialogue is opened (because it has to be opened if this is going to be prevented) it’s done so with open minds. We as a society have got to stop talking at each other and talk to each other…and listen. Open your minds, be open to possibilities…and first and foremost the discussion should open with…”What can we do to address mental illness? What can we do as a society to stop this? Before a weapon…any weapon is picked up to be used for harm, a person has a thought that killing is an option.

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