My last two posts have been dealing with tragedy in the NFL. Both of those tragedies did not compare to the sadness and grief that I felt today when I heard about the Connecticut school shooting, which involved the murder of innocent elementary school children.
This morning, I was shocked and sadness as I followed the news story involving the school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary. I took the news very personally as I read about all of the victims of the shooting. I am a parent of two children - one in high school and another in elementary school. I am also a parent who has had to personally lose a child. It was hard to separate my personal emotions of dealing with all of feelings that the parents may be experiencing. I had to bottle up my emotions most of the day, but I found myself focusing my energy by keep tabs on the news.
Professionally, I also found myself imagining the horror that the children may have been experiencing during the entire tragedy. Children in the elementary school may not comprehend that the events that were taking place as being real. They may see the events as being "from television or movies". These children will have to deal with a lot of trauma over the coming days. Some children may keep their feeling internal. Some others will express them externally through their behavior by either being very needy or shutting down and not needing any physically or emotional support from adults.
It is super important that these children have the optimum support during this difficult time. This will help with coping from the tragic events with minimum scars. It is important to show love no matter how the child reacts to the events. They need to know that they have somewhere safe to come to when they need support. It is also important to provide them with therapy to process the tragic event in a positive way.
Personally, I do not understand why someone would do something this horrible in a place full of innocence. Children should not be exposed to such violence in their lives. They need be in a place where they feel safe and comfortable.
I also feel a powerful heartfelt sadness for the parents of the children loss in the tragedy. 20 young lives were cut short quickly especially during a time of the year where the happiest of seasons is taking place. These parents did not know that they would not be hearing their children's voices again after sending them off to school. They didn't know that they would not be able to hear "I love you" and watch them grow up after this morning's tragedy. These parents should be buying presents to give these children. Instead these parents are forced to pick out caskets to bury their children and saying goodbye. It is something that no parent should be prepared to do in any point of their lives. From personal experience, it is something I do not wish on anyone....period.
As for the "monster" that took 26 lives away, I still do not understand the reasoning behind his rampage. Professionally, I do believe that he was mentally ill. There is no doubt in my mind that was the case. I do not know if anyone intervened to get him the proper help. He definitely had a lot of anger and aggression bottled up that finally burst. I do not know his motive. Honestly, I do not care. No excuse will accepted in this tragedy. None. No lives should have been lost today. I still remember Columbine like it was yesterday even though it was over 13 years ago. No child should lose their life in a place that they should feel safe.
Ultimately, it is up to the guy upstairs to determine where the killer will go and make the proper judgment. Right now, we should keep our thoughts with the families who's lives were shattered today. We need to keep their spirit alive. Hopefully their spirit will help create policies to help others in the future.
If you have not done so, please do not forget to take a moment to hold your children tight and tell them that you love them. Do not wait until a tragedy like this folds. Tell them on a daily basis. Everyday is a precious gift.