I remember exactly where I was when the news reports started coming in one year ago: driving the Senior Center van, delivering lunches. I was doing the exact same thing today, and that horrible Friday, December 14 of 2012, came back to me.
The disbelief. The helpless grief. The fury, searching hopelessly for a valid target…only to turn back into grief.
I only think of the Newtown massacre periodically, because I have no real connections to it. I know how lucky I am. And that is why I hope fervently that the news media heed the pleas that Newtown community leaders have been issuing for the past couple of weeks, to please, please, please leave them alone for this horrible first anniversary of their tragedy.
One year later, I don’t want to talk about gun control or mental health. I don’t want to argue. All I want to do is send healing love to those poor, torn-up families, and to stay out of their way. And, since I’ve re-opened this well of emotion which is now overflowing again, I plan to “hug” as many virtual kids as I can this weekend.
My own grown sons I have recently seen (and hugged) and will (inshallah) see and hug again soon. So tonight I’m going to call and email my two “goddaughters,” and send some hugs via email to all my former students.
What should we do to remember the Newtown families? Hug our own. If your own family is not available to hug, hug someone else’s kid, or mom, or dad. Call someone. Email someone. Tell them how much you love them.
Hugs can’t heal everything. But they can keep us going even in the face of that knowledge.
If you have your own words of remembrance or comfort, please share them. Then go and hug.