There are no words to express that which we cannot know. Parents who have not had to face the unimaginable sorrow of losing a child cannot even fathom what that would feel like. Truth be told, we can't even bear to think about what that would feel like because the grief is too overwhelming to even consider. And yet we want to help, in some way, these parents we know are suffering.
What can we do? This is the question I have asked myself for the past 3 days. What can we do to ease their pain, to take some of their burden, to lessen their sorrow?
I look at these faces and I see my son. I read their names and I hear my son's name. Look at these children - every photo a smile, a light, a joyfulness. I look at these children and I see hope, and that makes the reality that much harder. These were OUR children. And we failed to protect them.
Many will argue that this is about the guns or lack of mental health treatments - people will scream for a ban on assault rifles and look to blame the parents, neighbors, those who "should have known" - we will examine every moment of the shooter's life leading up to this one event, looking for the one thing that was missed.
I don't have the answers. I am writing because it is the only way I know how to process my feelings. My heart is broken - for these little children, for the parents, siblings, friends and families, and for myself. My husband and I have cried every day for these parents, wanting to do something, but knowing there is nothing we can do. And so we sit, and we cry, and we pray that whatever lessons we were supposed to learn from this unspeakable tragedy is learned.
The Faces of YouIf you feel so inclined, please leave a message for the children below or email to me at Roxine@treeclimbersinc.org. Perhaps I can put together a book of thoughts, notes, messages and prayers for the parents of the little children and send to them. I know how much your thoughts and prayers meant to the victims of Jerry Sandusky and how helpful and powerful those words were...
The world grieves
And yet your smiles radiate from beyond the grave
A light that may show us the way out of the darkness
The pain and sadness and sorrow that permeates each waking moment
Is illuminated by that light in your eyes, the radiating smiles on your faces
You were not afraid, were you?
You faced evil and smiled - but that we could find that bravery
Your lives will not be forgotten young children
You will live in our hearts forever
I'm just grasping at straws - wanting to do something - and this is the only thing I can think of to do.
NAMES OF THE CHILDREN (does not correspond to the photos above)
Charlotte Bacon, 2/22/06, female (age 6)
Daniel Barden, 9/25/05, male (age 7)
Olivia Engel, 7/18/06, female (age 6)
Josephine Gay, 12/11/05, female (age 7)
Ana M. Marquez-Greene, 04/04/06, female (age 6)
Dylan Hockley, 03/08/06, male (age 6)
Madeleine F. Hsu, 07/10/06, female (age 6)
Catherine V. Hubbard, 06/08/06, female (age 6)
Chase Kowalski, 10/31/05, male (age 7)
Jesse Lewis, 06/30/06, male (age 6)
James Mattioli, 03/22/06, male (age 6)
Grace McDonnell, 11/04/05, female (age 7)
Emilie Parker, 05/12/06, female (age 6)
Jack Pinto, 05/06/06, male (age 6)
Noah Pozner, 11/20/06, male (age 6)
Caroline Previdi, 09/07/06, female (age 6)
Jessica Rekos, 05/10/06, female (age 6)
Avielle Richman, 10/17/06, female (age 6)
Benjamin Wheeler, 9/12/06, male (age 6)
Allison N. Wyatt, 07/03/06, female (age 6)
AND OF THEIR HEROES
Rachel Davino, 7/17/83, female (age 29)
Dawn Hochsprung, 06/28/65, female (age 47)
Anne Marie Murphy, 07/25/60, female (age 52)
Lauren Russeau, 1982, female (age 29)
Mary Sherlach, 02/11/56, female (age 56)
Victoria Soto, 11/04/85, female (age 27)
We are touched by angels
And walk where angels tread.
They will guide us, walk beside us
Through the days ahead.
In the hours of darkness,
When our dreams have flown,
They bring hope and gentle healing,
We are not alone.
In our times of doubting,
Still they understand,
And forever touched by angels,
We walk hand in hand.
The voice of an angel: