I should be working, but I just can't.
Like every mother and father out there, every aunt and uncle, everyone who has loved a child, I can't get past what happened on Friday.
This is not just a news story that I can turn off. I have turned off the tv, avoided social media, and yet every time I am alone with my thoughts, a movie starts playing in my head of some crazed soul walking into my daughters' classrooms with a semi-automatic weapon and shooting. My six year old is afraid of thunder. She is afraid of the dark. My nine year old is too young to see the movie Twilight. I just can't stop thinking about what these kids saw, how much they probably wanted their mommies, and how a band-aid just isn't enough this time.
I can't look at the photos and names of the victims. I feel selfish for that, because I want to grieve them for the sake of their parents and brothers and sisters. But the brief glance I did see of the list showed names and faces of kids who look just like my own six year old and her friends. How would I ever go on without one of my children? I just don't think I could. I can't imagine a pain worse than this, and knowing how scared they probably were....I couldn't.
I sent my babies off to school today for the first time since this happened. They have been in school for 1 hour and 14 minutes, and every minute has been excruciating. I don't feel that sense of peace and safety that I felt before. Kids---babies---were off limits before. They aren't now.
This is a slippery slope for someone with depression and anxiety. I am trying to use everything I've learned to get through this, including writing my feelings down here. I am intensely grateful for my three children, always, but now I can't stop staring at them and thanking the universe that they are safe, innocent, and still naive to the events of Friday (I did tell my oldest because I knew he'd find out on Facebook). I've tried to see what good I can see in the situation--the donations pouring in, the outpouring of love from our nation to the families. It's hard to wade through all the crap that has also come out, the fight over gun control and even mental illness. But I'm trying.
I have only recently come to believe again that there is no true death, only the end of our physical form. This has helped me a little. I feel a tiny light of peace that I would not have felt otherwise.
But overall, I grieve with the rest of the country for the loss of innocence, extending from the ones lost, to the ones who saw, to the families affected, to the town, to every parent and child who now doesn't feel safe at school.
“Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It
is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your
body.” -Elizabeth Stone