Saturday, December 15, 2012

Maintaining a Vigil

I don't know where to put the great sadness that settles so suffocatingly after yesterday's events in Newton, Connecticut.  At the time of such horrific happenings, many of us were going on about our day, perhaps working, meeting with friends, preparing for a joyful holiday.  Wouldn't you think that there would be sudden rush of energy that would suck life from you, that you would know without being told?  My husband came in from running errands and as I was ready to tell him some small thing, he asked, "Did you hear the news?  A school in Connecticut? " and he choked on words as he tried and failed to tell me.  I had to go look it up.

We have experienced that feeling of not knowing if a child was safe - the incredible terror, and imagining the worst.  It is easy to feel with these families;  and then to know the gasping gratitude when your worst fears are not realized.  It is almost unbearable to try to imagine the feelings of the families who have lost their dear ones.

I'm not sure what kind of actions will be of use, beyond prayer; I read a blog by Peter Niedbala this morning that at least said something that felt right - that we need to avoid being desensitized by such events.

One way to do that might be to resist the temptation to bury these emotions, and instead, to stay with this community in our hearts throughout the days ahead.  Practicing a periodic vigil, balancing the activities of our own day with thoughtful intentions for these families will ensure that they are not forgotten.  As more information comes to light, perhaps we will see ways that we can exercise our  own part toward healing in a broken world.

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