Wednesday, December 19, 2012

On Tragedy

I've been sad. Incredibly sad. And angry. Like spitting nails angry. My emotions aren't different than any other parent in the wake of last week's tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

I've cursed. I've cried. I've prayed. I've talked. I've written. I've read. None of it brings me true peace because, honestly, how could it? What can you possibly take away from tragedy like this?

Nothing. At least not right now.

When bad things happen, though, I've learned to simplify.

I do small things. I focus on what I can do.

My husband was sick. Like many men, illness to my husband is all-encompassing. As a woman, wife and mother, I need to be REALLY on-my-ass sick to stop. So, I'm not generally sympathetic when he catches a cold. And he knows it {I think the eye rolling gives me away}.

This time, I went out and bought him  his favorite matzoh ball soup. I nurtured him. I listened to him ache and pain. I hugged him.

My daughter issued her usual complaint about school and homework. Instead of my automatic response to try and pep her up, I let her complain. I said I understood school is hard. Sitting still all day long is hard. And that she does not have to always like it. I get it. And I hugged her...long.

My toddler woke up grumpy from his nap and instead of hustling him on to our next errand, I held him. Kissed his head. Stroked his cheek and sang. {I actually started giggling midway through the singing because even to my own ear...yikes.}

I played airplanes with my 4-year-old for an extra long time. And that's something. Because I can't stand playing airplanes. ;)

I offered help to family members that needed it.

I spontaneously invited family to dinner.

It all felt good. Those small things. It didn't take away the fear, but it did allow me to focus on the moment and pulled me out of that overwhelming, weighty sadness.

And, really, that's all I can do. At least for now. 

One day soon, though, I'll be ready to march...

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