Last Friday as I heard the President address the nation about the events in CT, he stated “this is a national tragedy”. I knew as the story was unfolding that this event was a national tragedy. There was no doubt the events of last Friday would affect us all. There was no doubt that we all would want to do something. We would all want to right the wrong and fix the problem so it doesn’t happen again. My prayer is that we would remember that to those 27 families who lost a child (whether young or grown) it is personal.
I understand a side of national tragedies that as a nation we don’t know. I don’t know the sorrow of losing a child but I do know the sorrow of losing a loved one in national tragedy. And as I have said many times ” my daughters and I embarked on a journey we never expected to be on. We have had a personal loss in the midst of a national tragedy. And there is no handbook to tell you how to do that.” A loss of a loved one is always a loss but when that loss happens in a way that it throws you and your family into the center of something so much bigger than just your loss it can’t be understood unless you have lived it. Do you realize that the families of the victims of the CT shooting haven’t been able to turn the television, radio or computer on in the last week without being bombarded by “their loss”? It was proper and right that the President attended the interfaith service but do you really think they were excited to meet the President? Those families in CT are grieving as the whole nation watches. Those families in CT are grieving as requests for interviews, comments and photos are being made by the media. Those families in CT are grieving as wonderful opportunities are being offered to them. Those families in CT are grieving for their children.
I understand that we all want to do something. So please say a prayer, send a card, make a donation but also remember in the days, weeks, months and years ahead as Dec 14, 2012 becomes known as the date of the worst school shooting in history that 27 families had a personal loss that day. Because after a while we forgot that there were families that suffered personal losses at Columbine, or Virginia Tech or when the Challenger exploded, or in the Oklahoma City bombing, or on September 11, 2001. We start to focus on how it changed us as a nation but to the families it was personal.