Of the many, many affected on this day one year ago, I wish to pay a moment of tribute to those oft forgotten on this day. It is extremely difficult for me to do so. I feel unworthy to feel the anguish you feel, yet if honest, I must tell you that I do. Not as you feel it. But I do feel it.
For me, this day stands for some inexplicable reason especially saddening. I wrote about it over at my writing home site. I would like it if you were to read those words. Experience with me just a moment of grief, and of hope.
Then, follow me just below the
squiggledoodlethingey fold, for a bit of reflection.
On this date, one year ago, I too was flung from the fulness of time to a small community. But mine was a different and, for me, unique experience. I have never been a child traumatized by this particular horror. I have never been a parent who was striken by such grief at the hand of another.
I am, and will always be a Grandparent. Although I have no children of my own, I am a Grandparent to five beautiful grandchildren who live safely and securely in the midst of love-centered homes, and protected by truly wonderful parents.
In an article I read recently, it was said that Grandparents cry twice. No they don't. This diary is meant to talk directly to those Grandparents of Sandy Hook, Arapahoe High School, and the hundreds of Grandparents coursed, against their will, into this moment as well.
These children lost are the children of our children. We are those most often forgotten in the horror, and the trauma such moments bring to us, against our will and our wishes. We are those who must cry quietly, and alone out of the sight of our children, and our children's children. We are the Guardians who live to protect them from all the evils and dangers of this world. As Grandparents, we are the ones who get to "bedevil" our Grandchildren with Ice Cream just before bedtime, or those special cookies. We are the Keepers of Christmas, of the best times.
We are also the ones first on the scene when tragedy strikes those we love. We are also the ones who most often feel the emptiness of those whom we have lost. Some say it is our place, our rightful place to do so. After all, the elders stand guard. But, we are the ones who grieve, perhaps even the most. I know it may seem to be presumptuous to say so, yet I contend that it is true. We cry three times.
We cry for our children's children, both the lost and those who remain. We alone know the pain and anguish that birth can bring to a Mother or a Dad. We know the trials of sustaining loving homes and relationships, especially when things go so very badly. We know the feel of a newborn, especially when that baby allows us entry into the most wonderful of clubs. Being a Grandparent is such a gloriously wonderful thing. No rules, except excess--both in good and in bad. Many of us have known the grief of losing a child, perhaps the most unnatural of human events.
That lost Grandchild who had set a place squarely within the center of our hearts, now gone. What are we to do? First we do the unimaginable. Then, we do the impossible. Then, we do the necessary. Then? Then, what do we do?
Only then do we find a secret place to grieve. For the child lost, for the child who must now endure the horror of loss that we never imagined they would face, for ourselves and each other who must somehow survive.
Sometimes, when we finally make it to this point, the emptiness is so very real, and so very great that we just do not know what to do at all. We cry. We scream. We hit, and beat, and strike out at a world which would condone, much less pernit such pain to exist without response. Grandparents are people, humanity who take upon themselves roles that no other can. Their loss, their grief is unique unto themselves both individually and as a section of the human condition.
I had a conversation today with a man who must somehow tell his children that their Grandfather is dying. Three small children must be told in some way simple enough to understand as they can that their "Granpa" is going to be with "Grannie" now, and they won't be seeing him for a while. What parent would lose their parent, and be able to calmly and rationally explain so much as is possible of such an impossible reality?
The Granpa did it.
Grandparents are the most amazing of all humanity, I think. I honor them on this day, and wish to express my deepest sympathies for what they have lost. I want to honor them for remaining on the Tower, protecting all they hold dear for one more moment. I want them to know that their grief, their loss, and their dedication is noticed, and accounted.
I do not wish to intrude, or be something I am not in this time. I just want you, the Grandparents of Sandy Hook, of Arapahoe High, and every lost child in between to know that you matter. Your grief matters. Your strength matters.
You hope matters, too. How well I do know the doubts, and the security of knowning that we have prepared our children for life, even such tragic life as this. Together, it is the Grandparents who will, if we permit it, see us through these unwilling times.
Oh, if you could have met my Grandparents! How I do love, and miss them so.