Like the parents of the Sandy Hook kindergartners, I have lost a child. No one should ever have to bury their child. No one should ever have to pick out a child size casket and make funeral and burial plans for a little person that is suppose to see you go first.
Of course the situations are different, I don't presume to relate my situation to the Sandy Hook tragedy. Grant Andrew was born with life threatening medical issues. We lost him at 8 weeks old, he had never even left the hospital. We knew his passing was near and we were escorted to a nice cozy little room (sort of like a living room). We wrapped him in a blanket that had been used by the other boys, we both sat together and held him in our arms and I sang him his last lullaby. The nurses and doctors were so kind, the whole floor was quiet, even the other NICU babies. While peaceful, it was so heartbreaking. However, today, I am thankful for how peaceful it was.
Then my heart breaks into a million pieces and think of those sweet babies in that classroom that did not get that peace. Their last minutes were of unimaginable fear (did they cry out for their mommies and daddies?), and horror (to witness that horror unfold around them to their little friends). Then as if my heart can't break any further... I think of those sweet babies' parents. I never truly considered myself "blessed" to of been with Grant during that time (I felt it was my duty & I was bound by love, but it's not something I would ever say I felt blessed by)... but now I see it so... that's what parents do... we see our children through things even when it hurts the worse. But those parents were robbed of not only their irreplaceable children... they were even robbed of being able to provide comfort and love in those last moments. I really was blessed to have those last moments with Grant as scary and heartbreaking as it was... it was peaceful and full of love. Not full of fear, violence, chaos, and sadness.
My oldest, Jake is also in Kindergarten so I guess compound that I can only see his little class with their precious faces so excited to be growing up and learning... I'm a mess. Then I feel selfish, how can I be a mess? What about those lives that will be changed forever. You never get over a death, sometime time can make the hurt less... but something like that... there's no words for it.
Every time he does something today all I can think is the parents of a kindergartner just like him who will never experience that again. I got to check on him in his sleep last night, pull up the covers and give him a kiss. Twenty little beds were empty last night, when just that morning little people so full of life and wonder popped out of them ready to start their day.
How does one ever reconcile with that? I feel so small, helpless, and useless. How can someone get that sick and demented? Why choose the littlest ones that no idea of defending themselves, scrambling, pleading, hiding, running, etc... how could you ever HATE yourself and life that much? I don't understand it. All I know is that I have a huge sharp pain in my heart, as does most of the nation and some of the world perhaps. I know I'm not alone, I just hope those parents know that as well. What a horrific time for them. How can we ever pull good out of something like this?
**Saw a wonderful idea for honoring those 20 sweet babies... do 20 Random Acts of Kindness! What a perfect idea to pass on feelings of love, caring, and goodwill during a time we've seen so much violence, fear, and immense sadness. What if every single person did this in the nation or even the world. For in a time when you think "what can I do"... maybe that would be a good start. Random Acts of Kindness can involve monetary exchange... but there's also plenty things that don't require anything else but effort, thoughtfulness and your smile. I'm going to try it! I get rather wrapped up in my world of managing three young boys right now... it'd be nice to peek up out of it all and feel just maybe I can make a slight difference. Maybe you can too.**