The list is completePosted: December 19, 2012
When I wrote this blog the other day, there were two children on the victims list of the Sandy Hook massacre for whom photos and personal details had not been released. It bothered me that my list was incomplete. Many people commented that they just couldn’t watch the news or listen to any coverage of this tragedy, and I get that. It’s curious to me that our society seems torn between a perverse curiosity into the intimate details of strangers’ lives (the prevalence of celebrity worship and the relentless paparazzi come to mind), and an instinctive urge to turn a blind eye to the searing pain that comes from seeing — really seeing — the hard-core bad stuff out there. We have an instinctive impulse to protect ourselves from stuff that hurts. We rubberneck as we pass traffic accidents, hoping to glimpse the smashed cars, yet we shrink away from the gory details of what really happened inside Sandy Hook Elementary School as if being uninformed can keep the tragedy at arm’s length. There’s no judgment here, just my perception.
While my first instinct was to avoid the news and shut out any mention of Sandy Hook, it was equally important to me to learn something about each victim. As if my “knowing” them, in snippets and from afar, could connect me to the people suffering the most wrenching loss imaginable. As if learning a couple of facts or insights into who they were would allow me to share in the grief and somehow comfort those affected from 1,700 miles away. It doesn’t make much sense, but there it is. That is why I wanted to feature each victim individually and to uncover a little bit of personal info about them. I didn’t know any of the victims personally, nor do I know anyone in Newtown, CT, but as a parent — as a member of this human race — I felt compelled to showcase each of the victims.
Both photos come from the Facebook page In Loving Memory of Sandy Hook Elementary Victims.
A blogger I greatly admire and whose words always ring true for me wrote this about the tragedy at Sandy Hook:
“The only way for those left behind to survive something like this is when the rawness begins to subside, to adapt rather than crumble – in no way an easy thing to do. The unfortunate reality is that the 27 innocent lives cannot be brought back and the tragedy cannot be erased. As a community, a collective of humans, we need to absorb what happened and adjust our lives around it. To harp on the tragedy and let it define us will do no good. Rather, we need to define what our lives will be in spite of this tragedy. We need to sharpen our focus, reassess our priorities and make an even more concerted effort to love and let ourselves be loved, as that is what makes the world function. Let there be so much kindness that there is no room for hate.”
I love her idea of sharpening our focus. And her proclamation for us to “let there be so much kindness that there is no room for hate” is the best idea I’ve heard in a long time.
My list is now complete.