As the days progress and the news continues to haunt us, I’m starting to think that something like the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting never really leaves us; even those of us who were not directly affected by it. We get up each morning, go to work, and continue the lives that we know, but for most of us, in the wake of tragedy, the names and faces of the people who died at the hands of a severely disturbed young man burn themselves into our hearts and minds in a way that makes them impossible to remove.
The horrendous act of killing over two dozen people, most of whom were children, is something that our minds do their best to grapple with. We try to make sense of something that will never make sense. No matter how much we think about it – how it happened, why it happened, and even how to prevent it from happening again – we cannot entirely wrap ourselves around the notion that twenty children will not be home for Christmas next week. Twenty children will not get to grow up and experience many of the things that we all have had the privilege of experiencing.
It’s devastating on so many levels to any rational human being; no matter how close or far we may have been from the shooting and its deplorable number of victims. It’s devastating to think that those who survived must now contend with the memory of such a tragic and arguably preventable event. It’s devastating to imagine that any one of those children could have been mine or yours. In a way they were ours; all children are ours to protect and guide. All children belong to each and every one of us in some way; they are our future and inarguably an extension of our hopes and dreams.
To think that a man walked into a school and senselessly slaughtered them is something that I will never fully understand. I don’t think that any of us really will. I think that all we can do now is to cope with this loss in whatever ways we can and find solace in the actions of those who acted swiftly and selflessly to protect the children of Sandy Hook Elementary the best way they knew how.
Now is the time to reflect on the events that have transpired and to hopefully use what we have learned from this to pave the way for a more united front on the issues that matter to prevent this from happening again. I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of these shootings. I’m tired of seeing the emotional aftermath of such events. I’m tired of being burdened with the emotional and mental weight of these atrocities. It’s time for change. What happens now is up to us.
Until next time…stay classy.
– C.M. Berry