When I first heard the news that there was a shooting at a school, I quiet honestly didn’t listen to hard. I was going about my day. But, as the day went on and more information came out I did start to listen. When I turned on the news, I could only watch for a few minutes because I was getting sick hearing that is was CHILDREN that had died. Not that the adult lives taken were any less important or signficant – but as the parent as a child who has died I started to feel for the parents of those precious children. When I was going out later that I night, I heard that they hadn’t even removed the children from the school yet, because they were waiting to identify their beautiful little lifeless bodies.
I thought about our last moments with Alexander. As you know, it was very sudden and traumatic. However, unlike the parents of these children, we DID get to hold him – we got to say good bye to him. We got to pray with him as he took his last breaths. These poor parents did not have that chance!! They had to wait! I can’t even imagine that! It is hard enough to lose a child – but to not be with them as they lay dying is just so tragic. My biggest fear for Alexander was that he was scared when he was dying. I did come to peace, that he was already with God when they were working so hard to save his life. However, these children – the fear they must have faced when that man came into their classroom, is beyond anything even want to think about!
As often happens in the wake of a tragedy like this – people voice a lot of opinions. As I head someone one say on the radio today, the internet has given people the “freedom” to speak more freely – often anonymously through comments – but not always. I have heard =about the need for “gun control” (the guns he used were bought and owned LEAGELLY – he used them ILLEGALLY!) – “That is why I home school my children” (okay – so then maybe you should lock them in your house all the time because shootings have also happend recently at the mall and the movies!) “it is because we took God out of the schools” (tell that to the parents of the Amish Children that were slain at their school – I am sure THEY had prayer in school!) and yes, even someone compared this tragedy to the “tragedy” of all the abortions that happen every day, but never make it into the news. (Now, I am very pro-life – but now is neither the time or place for such a discussion – or even a time to make that remark!)
The one topic you DON”T hear about a lot right now is that of Mental Illness – the man that did this was clearly mentally ill – perhaps in the days/weeks ahead, more will come out about that – perhaps there were “signs” of his illness – perhaps not. I don’t know – but we need to STOP making mental illness such a “secert” disease and talk more about it – not make it so shameful – because like other diseases, it IS a sickness! I am no way going to excuse this man for what he did – but perhaps if had gotten HELP this horrible thing wouldn’t have happened!
But, now is really not the time for any of these topics. Now is the time for supporting those families in need – for showing them love and compassion, while respeciting their PRIVACY!
You NEVER get over the loss of a child – and as I said earlier, to lose a child in such a horrific way, is just unimaginable.
These families will be forever changed – and people are going to SAY a lot of things to them. I found this blog, that gives some good suggestions of what NOT to say and what TO say to people in a time of grief.
Of course the best thing you can really say – is just to say “I am Sorry” and then keep your mouth shut!
Praying for all those involved in this terrible terrible event.