Friday’s tragic events obviously have been unimaginable… many, many people are sad and unable to understand how someone could do this, including me. I am sad. My heart is breaking for the 20 empty beds that those parents now have in their home. My heart is weeping at the Christmas trees full of presents for children whose squeals of delight will not be heard. I know everyone is ‘imagining’ how terrible it is to lose a child… we know. Nate and I do not have to imagine how those parents feel. We can relate to their pain, to their immense suffering…. I’m sure funeral plans are being made and we can personally tell you that planning your child’s funeral sucks. I truly believe that once you have experienced your own loss, you grieve harder and you relive your own loss every time you hear of something similar. Of course, it doesn’t help that this is the holidays and we are suffering through our own sadness and still healing from losing Declan… but I can’t imagine it changing.
Friday, to begin with started off terrible, to start with it was the 14th… the 10-month anniversary of our own loss…. I have struggled with that date of the month for 10 months. Around 9 am, I found out my former band teacher, music director and someone I looked up to was killed in a car accident… then the awful news of the school shootings… Nate and I laid in bed on Friday night and talked about how terrible the day was from the beginning to the end. Sadness surrounded us.
As I have digested the events at SHES, the teacher in me can’t help but think of what it was like to be there as an adult… how hearing those shots surely sent them into a mode they didn’t believe they would ever be in – PRORECTION mode. I can only imagine the very first thought was ‘oh my God… this is real’ and from there, ‘how can I protect these children?’ I think back to my days in the classroom and you know, I didn’t like every one of my students and there were a few I couldn’t stand, but I know I would have protected everyone of them with my own life. I have heard the stories of heroism from the teachers and I am proud, but not one bit surprised. As Noah and I talked about the terrible events, I confidently told him that his teacher would protect him and the other children with her life. I just know she would. When you become a teacher you are so much more than just a teacher…. You are a substitute mom (or dad)… you are a nurse…. You are a leader and role model… you are a friend… you are a protector of those little ones in your care. It’s a big job.
My heart goes out to the teachers who lost their friends on Friday.... my heart aches for the police and rescue people who had to witness such a terrible act and see such hate...my heart weeps for the students whose friends died and who will suffer with this for a very long time and I think it goes without saying that my heart hurts for the parents who lost their babies and to the kiddos who lost their brother/sister... Friday, the devil reared his ugly head. Today and always is the time to trust in God... to allow him to help us through our pain and our disbelief... it's time to remember that HE will hold us up in his victorious right hand.