My heart aches this evening after learning more details of the school shooting in Connecticut. Twenty children, all very young elementary age, dead, along with seven adult school employees and the gunman himself. The words to explain how I feel don't come easily. As one who has lost a child to tragedy, I know how each and every one of those parents are feeling this evening. It's a feeling I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy, let alone anyone else. Each of those parents is missing a piece of their heart this evening - and that piece will never, ever return. And only those of us who have experienced it truly understand how it feels.
I have cried several times today watching the coverage. My son died in a car accident and wasn't murdered by some crazed gunman. I think, if I had my choice, I would say I'm glad my son died the way he did rather than be gunned down in a classroom and having to watch as his fellow classmates were shot before him. I have never looked at his death from that perspective but it could have been so much worse. My son died without ever really knowing what happened to him. These kids saw it all before it happened to them. How terrified they must have been.
There are already more demands for gun control and the President, from his remarks, seems determined to change the gun laws in the United States following this tragedy. Once again, the sad truth is that if we outlaw guns for the average, law-abiding citizen, then only those who mean us harm will have guns in their possession. And that will put us all in danger.
I'm really not trying to start a debate on gun control because that's not the purpose of this post. This is about the 20 children and 8 adults, yes, including the gunman himself, who died today. I'm not going to waste a whole lot of sympathy on the gunman except to feel sorry that he was in the shape he was in this morning, but what happened to him to cause him to kill his own mother (reportedly with a gunshot to the face) and then go to the school where she worked and kill a classroom full of kindergarteners? It is unfathomable to me.
There are those in this country and the world who would ask "If God exists, why would He allow this to happen?" My answer is easy. God wants and expects us to turn to Him for everything but He doesn't force it and He rarely interferes in the daily activities of mankind on Earth. He leaves us to our own devices - whether we make good choices or not. And He lets our choices play out as they will.
May the Almighty God comfort the victims, children, parents and families of those who died in Connecticut today as only He can. My heart goes out to all of you. You will survive this tragedy but you'll never be the same. I promise you both of those things. I wish I could make it easier but it's not in my power. I'll leave you with the advice I was given when my son died... "Cry often. It helps."