Coping With Disaster and the Death of Children

My Heart is Heavy

…thinking about the mass murder of 20 children and 6 women at a school in Newtown, Connecticut last Friday. I cried thinking about that particular atrocity, knowing that I share that same sorrow and outrage with the rest of the world about what happened. Massacred by a deeply disturbed 20-year-old gunman who also took his own life, these children left behind unconsolable grief affecting not only their families and friends but a whole nation of people mourning the loss of lives.

What if my own daughter who is 12 years old died in that massacre? Would anything or anyone be able to console me? Would I ever again be able to feel any peace or happiness after a personal tragedy of that magnitude? I can only imagine that the best I might do is find some sort of acceptance. From the human heart of a mother, there is no consolation.

How Does One Cope

…with a tragedy such as this? For me, it is only in relationship to God that I could even bear the next moment. I have found that being in relationship with something greater than myself allows me to take the next breath and eventually find a desire to go forward. I believe God is asking us to be with Him in mourning so that we need not feel alone in it. When I look at my own life, I see God or my higher power trying every which way to wake me up to the endless suffering going on here. I am finally learning to automatically turn toward Him in the feelings of excruciating loss and pain. There is no place else to go.

What helps in a circumstance such as this? Perhaps it is unique for each of us. I find that prayer helps. Love and kindness help. Forgiveness helps. Letting my heart hurt rather than retaliate helps. This is not a safe place and, while I try my best to do everything possible to protect my child and loved ones, eventually we will all have to say goodbye.

Our Collective Consciousness

It is through our collective heartache that we have the opportunity to come together with God to do our part in ending the needless suffering created by mankind’s cruelty. There is a collective grief that demands to be felt here. Otherwise, what’s the point of all this pain?



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