Monday, December 17, 2012
sandy hook: no words
I dropped Olivia off at her elementary school this morning, watched her walk tentatively through the front doors that usually find her bouncing, and sobbed.
I have not posted about the events at Sandy Hook Elementary School because there are no words. Even as I moved through the motions of our weekend, I heard very little conversation about it. It seems we are shrouded in a devastating, but quiet grief.
However, when Olivia's school counselor told me they would not be addressing this terrible tragedy, even with the sixth graders, at school today, I was surprised. I got to thinking about the difference between quiet and silence.
Quiet feels like something given. With it, we get time and space to absorb, reflect, mourn.
Silence feels like something imposed. It is absolute and feels like denial.
Finding a balance between quiet and silence can be very difficult after such a tragedy. As a nation, we need to turn inward, to heal in the quiet of our hearts and minds. We also need to give the victims' families, and the residents of Newtown the quiet they need to grieve. At the same time, however, we need to speak our condolences; they need to tell their stories, and we all need address pertinent topics such as gun control and mental health care.
We need to be quiet. Be we can't be silent.
I don't always know how to do that.
Over the weekend, kids across the country used social media to spread the word to dress today in either yellow and blue, the colors of Newtown High School, or green and white, the colors of Sandy Hook Elementary School. I appreciated and admired this show of support and grief for its quiet, but also for its voice.
On a day where I didn't know what to do because as a nation, we have failed to protect our children, what a bittersweet irony that it was the children who found a way through the day.