Home > Grief, Love, Motherhood, Parenting > A Stranger’s Grief

A Stranger’s Grief


One of the things that had a profound effect on me upon giving birth and becoming a mother, was the almost instantaneous and overwhelming feeling of love I felt within my heart, for not only my child but for all children. Within the first few weeks of my son’s life, I will always remember how it struck me that what seemed like all-of-a-sudden, children were my concern, all children. It’s a gift I think we receive innately when we become parents, so I don’t think I am unique in feeling this deep sense of caring for the well-being of children in general.


The tragedy that took place at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut last Friday is simply incomprehensible.


Like so many other people, parents; moms, I am heartbroken. The magnitude of this loss fills me with pure, raw sadness. My heart is overflowing with deep sorrow and intense grief for the families and their suffering.


I am guilty of avoiding the internet and television in an attempt to circumvent reports and updates on this massacre. I desperately want to hide from the truth. I am too weak to find the strength required to stop, watch and listen to the details of what happened. I end up crying each time I try. I am afraid to hear the names; the children’s names. They have released the names of the victims and even though I am a complete stranger to all of them, I can not bear to hear their names.


I have no consolation for anyone. I feel foolish looking for something positive in this. I see no positive side, no possible reason for this happening. No matter how deep I reach, I can not find anything soothing to say. I have no consoling words that might help anyone and I don’t believe that in hindsight we will glean any kind of lesson or understanding from this event. There is no amount of  human kindness that could come from this, that I could possibly use to make sense of this senselessness.

Each and every parent who sent their child off to school at the end of last week had every expectation that they would meet again at the end of the day.

This is not how I want to be reminded that every day we have with our children is a gift or that life is short — although like every other parent I imagine, I took a moment this weekend to hug my children a little harder and a little longer than usual.

When I drop my children off at school this coming Monday, it will be with a heavy heart and a slight sense of trepidation but at least they will return to school. I will think of them often throughout the day as I will undoubtedly be thinking of those children who will not be returning to school:

Charlotte 6, Daniel 7, Olivia 6, Josephine 7, Ana 6, Dylan 6, Madeleine 6, Catherine 6, Chase 7, Jesse 6, James 6, Grace 7, Emilie 6, Jack 6, Noah 6, Caroline 6, Jessica 6, Avielle 6, Benjamin 6, Allison 6.

And the educators who served them:

Rachel 29, Dawn 47, Anne Marie 52, Lauren 30, Mary 56, Victoria 27.

Photo Credit #1 ~ Google Images

Newtown Victims/NYMAG.COM

  1. jen
    December 16, 2012 at 8:59 am

    I don’t think you are weak for not watching the media circus surrounding this event. I am avoiding it, too. I can’t bear to watch and listen to complete idiots try to make sense of it, place blame in the wrong places. It comforts no one when comfort should be among the highest priorities. Most of it is shameful. Love you Karen.


    • December 16, 2012 at 11:06 am

      I love you too, Jen.


  2. Julie
    December 16, 2012 at 10:41 am

    Thank you for saying everything I feel but could not find the words to say. I will send this to many friends and family who feel the same way we do, that all children are our responsibility to care for and keep safe. Take good care Karen.


    • December 16, 2012 at 11:07 am

      Thank you, Julie ~ thinking of you and YOUR beautiful daughter right now.


  3. Karl
    December 16, 2012 at 8:16 pm

    Karen – I am so very sad about what has happened. Like you, my heart is aching. It is hard to put it int words. I just pray for comfort for the families and community of Newtown,


    • December 16, 2012 at 8:42 pm

      Peace to you & yours, always Karl.


  4. December 19, 2012 at 2:57 am

    Actually, many people suggest NOT watching the news as the way the media portrays these tragedies only encourages others who want to be ‘heroes’.


  5. December 19, 2012 at 7:21 am

    Yes Lady. Maybe my weakness is not really a weakness but an instinct, helping me to keep from twisted facts and sensational journalism.


  1. December 23, 2012 at 12:00 am
  2. December 23, 2012 at 12:00 am

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