Saturday, December 15, 2012
Yesterday was unspeakable. Those sweet babies, all 20 little children and those 6 brave, heroic adults all gone too soon. The unspeakable acts. I found yesterday quite triggering for me. I know it has triggered most of us. Those of us who are parents, grandparents, or just a compassionate human being were thrown into shock & grief yesterday. For me, it was the same. Perhaps the aftermath of the grief being more real to me than most.
People have told me that I am living their worst nightmare, having a child die. Truthfully, having Ethan die peacefully in my arms has never been my worst nightmare. Having my children harmed, abused or killed has always been my worst nightmare. Having the privilege of counseling abused children showed me what terrifying things really exist.
Yesterday morning I dropped Caroline, my sweet pea, off at Kingergarten. Watched her bounce into school with her purple leggings on and wearing her sparkly princess backpack. Then I drove myself into Boston for an ultrasound. And no, I am not pregnant. I sat in the same waiting room I sat in while pregnant with all 4 children. The room was filled with pregnant women, with their toddlers getting antsy and with their spouses beaming with excitement. It was quite painful to be back there, without any baby this time. I hadn't been back since I was pregnant with Ethan. They were running far behind so I had to wait longer. There was this lovely couple, newly pregnant with their first child clearly, drooling over their ultrasound pictures. I wanted to run far away from them, from this office that belonged in my past. My happy past where dead babies did not exist. Not for me at least. I was finally called into the room and the ultrasound tech and physician commented that they hadn't seen me since my amniocentisis in the spring. Wondering why I had never returned for the routine third trimester scans. "Because my baby died," I replied They were gracious. Understanding that I wanted to get in and out of the office quickly. The doctor made a comment that she he must have died due to a chromosomal problem, and I corrected her. She asked what happened then? My answer was that there is no answer. No one knew, no one could understand any of it. No medical answers to be given. On the ride home from my doctor's appointment I heard of the tragedy in Newtown, CT.
So last night I cried. I cried as a mother of 4 children. Cried as a mother of a sweet ponytailed 5-year-old kingergarten girl. Cried as a mother who knows the depth of shock and pain that entails grieving a young child. Cried as a resident of a sleepy New England town. Cried as a person. Cried as a Christian. Yet my heart is thawed by the countless stories of heroics, bravery and love yesterday.
Caroline came into the room this morning when I was watching the news. I immediately turned it off & put on Mickey Mouse. She knew something happened yesterday at a school because she was in the room when the news broke through. (Don't be thinking we have family CNN time or anything please.) This morning she walked up to me and asked what happened. I told her a lot of teachers kept a lot of kids safe yesterday, just like Mrs. Doyle keeps her safe. "But not all of the kids right? Not all." "No honey, they couldn't keep them all safe. But you are safe, I promise you." "Ethan has a lot of new friends in Heaven now." "Yes, yes he does."
I cannot know what the terror is like for the parents of those twenty children, but I can offer my love, prayers and promise to remember their children always. As I will remember those 7 innocent adults whose lives were lost as well. I am so sorry that more families join me along this unwanted road. All I can offer is to walk with them.