Friday, December 14, 2012

Grieving for Friends You Never Met

Jessica Hill, AP
I had a blog post ready for today, but it will have to wait until next week.

I turned on my computer to see “Breaking News” screamed in big red letters across the screen: shooting at a Connecticut elementary school.

At first, I didn’t realize the magnitude of the story: was it a domestic dispute? An angry student? A disgruntled former employee?

But then I read a little more, and the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut revealed itself to be more horrible than anyone could have anticipated.

I can’t watch the news about this on TV. I check on Facebook and Twitter, and now and then on news websites, but that’s the extent of what I’m capable of doing right now.

My daughter in college texted me: did something happen in Connecticut? We talked on the phone about it, but only a little, preferring to change the subject as soon as we could.

Social media is exploding with news and comments, and already some people feel the need to reaffirm their support of gun ownership. Talk about an inappropriate moment.

I’m not going to get into the gun control debate, other than to say I don’t believe mass shootings of kindergarten students are what the Founding Fathers had in mind with the 2nd Amendment.
What I am going to say is that right now, millions are grieving for people they’ve never met – the adults and children who were murdered today.

They’re grieving for the victims’ families and friends whose lives have been changed forever.

And they’re grieving for their country. Because a tragedy like this reflects on us all.

Let’s put away the posters and rhetoric and join together to find a way to avoid these kinds of senseless tragedies.

This is supposed to be a season of peace and love.

Let’s make it so.



kathleen pooler said...

Beautifully said, Viki.I have nothing to add. Today we grieve together in silence and hope for a better tomorrow.

Friend Grief said...

We do indeed, Kathy.

Lynne said...

Victoria, thanks for your thoughts on the recent tragedy. What I've learned is that grief can be cumulative (if loss "events"/"themes" are not reconciled as they happen) so new experiences get linked to or trigger past events or themes. An unspeakable tragedy as this one can bring to the surface all kinds of past hurts creating expressions of grief that are cognitive, physical, emotional, spiritual ... Let's pray the supports are there ...

Friend Grief said...

Thanks, Lynne.
One of the first tweets/Facebook posts I saw after the tragedy in Newtown was from The Good Men Project ( They listed a hotline number for anyone for whom past trauma was triggered by this shooting.