Processing Tragedy

I tend to be an optimist in most situations. I want to find the good in all things because I can’t believe that the world is entirely evil. I have to believe that there is good in the world. Sometimes, however, the good is hard to find.

I’m struggling to process the events last week at Sandy Hook Elementary. I cannot wrap my head around what things must have been in the mind of the shooter in order to do what he did. I don’t understand that kind of violence. I feel so much anger toward him. I’m angry that he killed so many innocent people. I’m angry that he murdered members of his own family. I’m angry that he took the easy way out and killed himself in the end. I’m angry that I no longer feel safe sending my own child to school, regardless of the probability of this happening in my own community.

I can’t keep myself from reading posts online, thinking about it, or watching the news stories. My eyes well up with tears. My heart aches when I think about the fear, not only of the children, but of the teachers who spend every day of their lives loving and protecting them. I imagine the feeling of helplessness when they realized there was nothing they could do to stop what was happening.

I imagine my own 7-year-old son, so oblivious to the truth of the violent world we live in. Just thinking about the fear he would feel in that situation paralyzes me. He knows what happened, at least the brief overview, but I don’t think he has connected it to his reality. He doesn’t realize that kids just like him got up that morning, griped about not wanting to go to school, said good-bye to their parents, walked through the school doors, and never came home again.

It is all just too much.

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