Though The Juggle Struggle aims to be a generally lighthearted and hopefully humorous blog, I just can’t bring it today.
Often what we juggle as people isn’t the least bit lighthearted. Charlotte, Daniel, Rachel, Olivia, Josephine, Ana, Dylan, Dawn, Madeleine, Catherine, Chase, Jesse, James, Grace, Anne Marie, Emilie, Jack, Noah, Caroline, Jessica, Avielle, Lauren, Mary, Victoria, Benjamin, and Allison aren’t here anymore. Their lives—so many of them only just beginning—snuffed out by one person’s unfathomable actions. And their families and loved ones are dealing with devastating losses that have forever changed them. I, like the rest of the world, am struggling to deal with the recent horrific tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.
I struggle with my feelings of both deep sorrow and fierce anger.
I struggle with what to tell my child about such an abominable event, knowing I can’t protect him completely from the harsh and bitter realities that life sometimes presents.
I struggle with what this all means in our world, and what we need to do to make it harder for another lost soul to wreak such havoc.
I struggle with feelings of helplessness.
And I struggle with the guilt of knowing my life will absorb this blow a lot differently than the parents of the 20 children who watched all the other families get reunited with their kids while they waited…and waited…and then were told that their little one was dead. My heart breaks over and over again as I try to put myself in their shoes.
The families of the heroic adult victims, too, are also dealing with such painful loss.
So where do we go from here?
I’m not really sure, but I know that in today’s rabid hyper media attention of such tragedies, I am thankful that one of the aspects they are reporting on is that the Newtown area is steeped in faith. And though faith won’t “explain away” such horror, I believe it is what sustains us and is the foundation to rebuilding broken lives. And hearing our president, as he offered his sympathies, quote Psalm 147—reminding us that God “heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds”—was something I needed to hear in that moment.
Though I don’t fancy myself to have “the” answers, I do know that we need to be better to one another. We need to love and listen. We need to give and support. We need to forgive and remember. We need to work together to provide a safer world for all of us.
And we need to remember that life is a gift and not a guarantee.