Collectively grieving Newtown, CT

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This email came in over the weekend:

By: Armin VogelCC BY 2.0
Hello lovely people of Offbeat Families, I realize that you’re all probably getting a lot of inquiries about the Newtown shooting, and am going to guess that you are currently discussing how to bring it up/mourn it/ post about it, and I would just like to say that I’m sure there are many many other people like me that would like to see something on here where we can mourn/cry/discuss the actual issue without worrying about it twisting into political topics like gun control, etc. I live one town over, minutes away from where the shooting happened, and it has affected me directly although I am blessed not to have lost any children, I know I would really appreciate something on here where we can all acknowledge our fears but also support each other in this time of both local and national grief.

Thank you always, for being so awesome, and such wonderful people. Y’all make the world a better place.

-J.

Stephanie and I are both completely devastated by the situation in Newtown, with Stephanie being especially freaked out since she already survived one shooting last week (she and her son were at the mall in Oregon last Tuesday when three people were shot and killed).

The two of us have been talking all weekend, and we just don’t have much to contribute to the discussions about Newtown — we’re grief-stricken and heartbroken, but not in an especially offbeat way. We’re just reading the news and crying in the exact same ways that most everyone else is. For me personally, I’m simply too raw and upset about the whole thing to even try to articulate anything coherent, let alone try to get into sharing my perspectives in a public arena. For me, this is the kind of experience I process privately with my family.

That said, I do want to provide a place for Offbeat Families to support each other through the grief we’re all experiencing as we emerge from the terrible events of last week. If you’re in a place where you want to discuss it feel free.

Comments on Collectively grieving Newtown, CT

  1. I’ve been avoiding reading most of the articles because they make me cry – and avoiding commenting on anyone’s statements on Facebooks, as they make me feel angry/helpless. Just made my first statement on it along the lines of “Gay Marriage and abortion rights did not cause this, seriously, no matter what some people are saying out there.”
    I’m in my mid-20s and have grown up with all these shootings – Jonesboro and Columbine happened when I was in elementary school, Virginia Tech in college (when I was attending a university in Virginia and working as a student journalist – it was rough), and now this, as I just finished my first semester of grad school. I hugged my niece so hard when I came home for winter break. The worst part for me is that between Virginia Tech and now – I lost my faith – I used to feel like I could do something by praying at least, now, I have no idea what to do. I’m at a loss. I can’t even imagine trying to explain this to kids – my nieces are too young to understand now.

    • I’m also part of this generation. I remember seeing Columbine on the news. I remember exactly where I was on 9/11. I was away at college for Virginia Tech. I don’t have any wisdom or advice to help you through this. I don’t even really have anything comforting to say, I haven’t been able to comfort myself. I just wanted to say that you’re not alone. People keep saying this is the exception, but growing up in a world where school shootings come up in the news every couple years, that’s really hard to keep in perspective. I’m sorry you had to grow up with this. I’m sorry I had to grow up with this. I hope that our generation is able to help stop this, so that the next does not have this burden to carry.

  2. One of the things that is so difficult for me to understand in the face of this tragedy is how so many Americans still stubbornly defend and hold on so tightly to that 2nd Amendment.

    • I read a statistic that said that gun sales actually increased after the shooting.
      Faith in humanity= lost

      • There are lots of plausible reasons for why that might be happening… including gun owners having concerns that gun laws may soon be changing, and wanting to buy their favorite guns while they still can.

        In other words: it might be happening happening because gun safety laws are about to get stepped up — this would be a good thing in my book, so I see the increase in gun sales as not bad. If even gun enthusiasts sense that change might be coming, maybe it finally will.

    • I hear you, I read a comment from someone today saying it’s their God given right to own semi-automatic assault weapons in order for them to defend themselves against the US Government.

      I’m sorry, but that shit is crazy.

      Kids shouldn’t need security guards in schools to try to prevent their murder. There shouldn’t ever need to be a conversation about how the teachers should have had guns in the classroom. No other country on earth has these kind of shootings. Here in Australia, we’ve had 2 ‘school shootings’ death toll: 1 in the first attack, 2 in the second. Because our citizens aren’t entitled to have access to assault weapons.

      In Australia it took one horrible day, the Port Arthur Massacre, to lead to tightening of our gun regulations. One man (from New Town actually), killed 35 people mostly in a tourist area. They called him crazy too. I think it’s the only way people can make sense of it. It was the only time we’ve had an attack like that (besides historical Indigenous massacres), and it resulted in immediate action.

      I don’t understand how people can see these things happening again and again and again in the US and not take action? In the first article I read about the Newtown shooting the Australian newspaper described shootings as common place in America. There’s something terribly, terribly wrong there.

  3. I have truly struggled with this incident, and I feel guilty for struggling so much because I don’t have kids. I feel I have cried about this more than I should, and I feel like I’m not allowed to feel this way because I don’t have kids. I know it’s irrational. It’s also made me feel scared, and I hate that. I hate it. I work in higher education, and I worry this could happen where I am. For now, the only thing that has brought any sort of comfort is taking Ann Curry’s 26 Acts of Kindness pledge and trying to make the world a better place.

    For my first act I became a Partner in Hope for St. Jude’s Research Hospital. I can’t do anything to save the poor children that were involved in this incident, but maybe my support of St. Jude’s will help save another child, and that makes me feel a little less helpless.

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