Sunday, December 15, 2013

What to Say to the Newtown Families

Yesterday was Dec. 14, a day that was once just another step in the holiday rush. Now, I think of Dec. 14 as a black box on the calendar page, a day that I would burn out of the month if I could, to cauterize the horrible images of what happened on that day last year in Newtown, Conn.

I thought of writing this post as a letter to the families who lost their children at Sandy Hook Elementary School. But what could I tell them? That I hugged my 6-year-old a little closer today? That just seems cruel when they are facing another Christmas with their 6- and 7-year-olds lying in the ground. That I am sorry that we as a nation let them down by failing to to rein in the sale of catastrophically dangerous weapons? It's a failure they know all too well already. That I have thought of them nearly every day in the past year, and cried many times? What is the point?

Is there anything to say at all that can possibly help make this anniversary less painful? Or is it better to hold onto this pain as a way of remembering? I don't think that the families would be gratified to know that their children's legacy was to make strangers feel anguish. In the end, I have nothing to say to the Newtown parents, so let's just leave them alone.