Processing

Tonight Hailey and I went to a wonderful Christmas party. David had to work late, so it was just the two of us. We had such a fun time and ended up leaving later than we intended. This meant Hailey went down late, which tends to mess her up. I put her down, but a few minutes later, I heard her crying. I ran upstairs, pulled her out of the crib and rocked her. Usually I’ll do this just long enough to calm her down, but tonight, I didn’t rush. I rocked and sang softly. She curled up on my lap, rested her head and her right hand against my chest. Her breathing became steady and deep. I kept rocking. Every couple of minutes she would smack her lips or whisper some indistinguishable babble in a sweet voice that can only be described as angelic. I kept rocking.

My mind wandered where it has wandered numerous times since Friday morning, to the victims of the Newtown school massacre. Tears welled up in my eyes and I held Hailey a little tighter.

The tears came from so many emotions. From sadness, from love, from pure heartache, from anger and from guilt.

When hearing of the massacre the first time my heart broke. I was sick. Sick to think how the families of the victims must feel, sick at how the teachers and staff at the school must feel, sick that there is this kind of pure evil out there. I had to change the station twice to keep from breaking into tears while driving.

Then, life went on. I delivered cookies, I bought candles, I went to dinner. Then, out of nowhere the memory of the tragedy came rushing back to me. I’d feel so guilty. How unfair, I thought. How unfair that I get to have my moments of sadness, then go along with my life. How unfair that I get to thank God it wasn’t my family and get to run with them in the yard. My heart ached with pain that the families in this tragedy would never have that opportunity again. And then I’d get angry.

How could one person be filled with such hate to  commit such a senseless, heinous crime?  Who could do such a thing? I tried to remember his name, then stopped myself. I decided I didn’t want to know who. I don’t care to ever hear the evil coward’s name. And I don’t think any news organization should utter it. Don’t show his face; don’t say his name. He doesn’t deserve to be famous.

Say the name of Victoria Soto, a courageous young teacher that saved the lives of all her students by locking them in cabinets and closets, then was gunned down herself. Say her name and the names of those that deserve and need our love, thoughts and prayers, but don’t repeat the evil coward’s name that did this.

Clearly I have not fully processed this tragedy yet. Writing is therapeutic for me, so here I am- writing. I am still full of mixed up emotions. I’m ok with this. It means I’m not desensitized. And, to me, it would be worse to feel nothing inside than this jumbled mix of anger, love, bitterness, gratefulness and empathy I have pumping through my veins.

My goal is to work through the anger, bitterness and fear. I don’t want to feel these because to me it means the coward won. It means he spread his deep hatred and I refuse to give him that.

Instead, I’m letting my heart ache for the families and friends of the victims. I’m also focusing on the beauty and love that is evident all around us. I believe in the human spirit of kindness and giving. I see it in my family, I see it in my friends and I see it in total strangers.

Friday, before I this tragedy happened, I wrote about random acts of kindness. I believe in them more now than ever. So yes, be grateful for what you have, hug your family tight, but also pay it forward. Do something unexpected and kind for someone. Go out of your way to help someone. Whatever it is, spread love. We need it now as much as we ever have.

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Comments

  1. says

    I try to make sense of these things, but you simply cannot. When my friends, the very people I sat beside in class at Virginia Tech, were stuck with the same fate of these precious children, I knew that the world just doesn’t make any darn sense. So I shouldn’t even try. Instead, I am going to be grateful for each day, count my blessings, and continue to pray for these families and teachers and friends and that they will find peace.
    Maria recently posted..Thursday ThingsMy Profile

  2. Catie says

    I too have cried so many tears – tears for the children and their families, the teachers, police/fire, and anyone and everyone who had to endure that tragedy. Here here to your statement of not giving him recognition – but my heart still breaks for his mother who also lost her life and the family that was left behind to deal with his evil, senseless, disgusting act. My heart breaks for them all. What an awesome post Brittany . . .

  3. Lauren B. says

    What a wonderful, eloquent, and thoughtful post. I am writing this as I cradle my little one in my arms, and I just squeezed him a little tighter. Since I heard the news, I’ve been forcing myself to not think about it too much, as it makes me incredibly sad. It’s unfathomable, every bit of it. I am thankful (and a little guilty) that I have the luxury of putting it out of my mind for a little bit while others are entrenched in heartache.

  4. says

    Wonderful post. I completely agree, there is no reason to use that evil man’s name. What is the point in giving him media time and credit? We need to focus on the teachers/admin/and children who were lost yesterday and their families.

    If you, or anyone else would like to join, some bloggers are having a “day of silence” on Tuesday. Stop by my blog for the details.
    Kaitlyn @Keeping up with Kaitlyn recently posted..No words can expressMy Profile

  5. laura says

    Brittany, this is by far the best post I have seen written in response to this. Most bloggers are just writing a one little headline before flaunting some giveaway or review, or how they ran 8 miles or some nonsense. Thank you for taking the time to write this–it may have been therapeutic to you, but it was also therapeutic to me too, as I am sure it was to several of your readers. THIS is why I love your blog. You are so real, and not flakey or superficial. I appreciate your writing today more than any other day. I will continue to come back and support you in any way I can, where other bloggers have lost my readership due to their insensitivity. It’s like they don’t get it, and you just do. Thank you.

  6. eve says

    Hi there,
    I’ve been a reading your blog for a while now. I enjoy to read about your health and fitness advice (and parenting exprience as I hope to be a new mom soon), and you inspire me to live and enjoy a healthier lifestyle. I love that you expressed your thoughts and reactions. I beleive that we would live in a better world if more people would stop and feel deaply and pray, care and think of those familes and communities affected more closely. I live in Canada, and I can say that we feel it deaply here as well. Thank you for sharing with us!

  7. jodie says

    I have cried many as well. I cannot imagine losing any of my work babies. I picture those precious lives lost, their innocent souls and I break.

  8. says

    This was a beautifully expressed post.

    I just wanted to let you know though, that to ensure the monster gets locked away, he needs a fair trial with appriate jury who do not have heavily biased opinions of him through things like social media and spreading your anger of his actions will prevent that from happening.

    I thought I’d let you know as a similar situation happened in AUS and it took AGES for him to have the trial.

    Despite of that it was a very compassionate post <3 My prayers are with all of America.

  9. says

    I am so sickened by this. It’s a tragedy beyond comprehension. I cannot begin to imagine what you – and all parents – must be feeling right now. And those poor, poor people in CT. There are just no words.

    After hearing the horrific news, I thought about your post earlier that day – how sometimes even the smallest act of kindness can make a lasting impact on someone. Here’s hoping we can all continue to do that even more now … here’s hoping that one day, the random acts of kindness will overpower the random acts of violence.
    Shari recently posted..Speechless.My Profile

  10. says

    I feel so many of those same emotions…and as a teacher, it terrifies me to think that someone could ever do that to any of my children–they may not be ‘mine,’ but I love them all and would do anything to keep them safe….I agree completely that this man’s name should NOT be shared. He’s not a hero, he doesn’t deserve the attention–by giving him attention, he wins. That was his goal after all…We have to look at the true heroes, pray for healing (for those parents and families, somehow), and for peace for this country.
    Danica @ It’s Progression recently posted..overcome evil with good.My Profile

  11. says

    someone posted a picture of one of the little girls who was killed. She was the prettiest little blonde girl and it broke my heart. My oldest will be in kindergarten next year but I am seriously thinking I am going to homeschool her, at least for a little while. I am not in a rush to send her off just yet!

  12. says

    Wonderful post and I couldn’t have said it better. It’s been so hard not to break down every time we turn the T.V. on! I’ve gone in and woken up my son a few times just to crawl into his crib and cuddle with him. I can’t even imagine what the families are going through.
    Giselle@myhealthyhappyhome recently posted..Sunday StuffMy Profile

  13. Kelli says

    Well said! It was a very difficult weekend for us we have a 6 & 7 year old so it really it home. I went to church and got some answers but it will never go away the pain I feel for those families!

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