Dec 152012

I don’t know if this is the right thing to do. But NC is a community, somewhat distant at the edges, and yet a lot of us know each other. When you read someone here, you’re, briefly, in his or her heart. The Newtown, CT, shootings came very, very close to us yesterday. Sophfronia Scott and Darryl Gregory, both of whom have published here, have a son who was in the school at the time of the shootings and escaped unharmed. I met their son at lunch in New York last spring, a bright, cheerful boy drawing pictures on the placemats while the adults talked. Think of them tonight and tomorrow and the day after. And think of the poor parents who lost their children. Beyond this, words fail.


  23 Responses to “Touched By The Dark”

  1. Stunned into silence here, but holding everyone in my heart.

  2. I grew up in Newtown, Connecticut. My entire network of friends from home has come forward, overwhelmed by grief, horror, disbelief. I’m reaching through this darkness to those who are suffering, with love and prayers.

  3. It is unspeakable and terrifying. I’ve been weeping on and off since I heard. If there is no comfort for those of us who still have our children, then what of those poor parents? I’ve been reliving my children’s kindergarten years, remembering their vulnerability and innocence. My whole life was their well-being. How those parents will go on, I have no idea. My heart is breaking.

  4. One of the teachers got her kids into a closet. She said later, “I said to them, ‘I need you to know that I love you all very much and that it’s going to be okay’, because I thought that was the last thing they were ever going to hear.”

    Speaks for itself.

  5. What a dark dark day. I’m stunned and grief-stricken for the children, their friends and families. A continent away, here I’m glued to my television, mourning, wishing somehow to understand what can’t ever be understood. My heart goes out to you, Newton, Connecticut.

  6. I’m here, too, holding in silence the children and families in Newton, CT, and especially Sophfronia and Anne, whom I know.

  7. When these kinds of things happen, I tend to block them out. First because they are too upsetting, and then because I start to get infuriated since in the midst of the outrage and grief and horror it’s considered somehow impolite–and disrespectful to the victims—to talk about the sort of legislation that might prevent at least some of the these kinds of atrocities. I know this is a complex issue… and people feel differently.. But I’m with Mark Kelley–whose wife, Congresswoman Gabby Gifford, was shot in the head at a mall in Arizona… He reacted to this recent mass killing with a letter calling for legislative action… Myself I’m upset over the children, and the effect it has on people I know… but I’m also upset over the middle-aged couple gunned down in a less publicized spree a few days ago in Oregon… and also by the more everyday shooting of a young man just yesterday on a street corner in San Rafael, down the road from where I live… it all comes home sooner or later…

    Meanwhile, there’s a petition before the White House in hopes of keeping preventative measures in the national discussion…

  8. Words fail me. I’m heartbroken.

  9. Just when I think I’m as cynical and impervious to pain – news-wise – as I can get, something like this happens to remind me that my heart can still be broken. Anyone who has ever loved a child knows how dark the days will be now for those families.

  10. Thanks, Doug for sharing the news. In times like this we could all surely use community. I felt lost, completely helpless, when I heard about the shootings – I still do. Every child I see- holding a parent’s hand, giggling, hopping, crying- I can’t help but imagine the grief the families are suffering. I don’t have children and will never know what it’s like to lose a child, especially to such tragedy. But I am very close to my 7 year old niece and 4 year old nephew and I wish I could hold them close right now, but my arms can’t reach all the way to Massachusetts. I suppose the least we can do is never forget …

    • Thanks, Melissa. I just keep remembering Jacob’s kindergarten graduation party (yes, they had one), just the idea of making the children feel happy and achieved and celebrated, making them laugh and dance (I remember the teacher chuckling over the “class wiggly girl”), because they have everything ahead of them. And then there is some strange disconnect because I cannot imagine the sequence of thoughts it would take to get kitted up in combat gear (combat gear! what strange self image was he trying to enact?) and drive over and hunt them down. Trouble is that history is full of things that make even less sense.

  11. It becomes increasingly clear that the most important thing is closeness and connection to loved ones — friends and family. I’m grateful to be a part of this community, and my heart goes our to our loved one, Sophfronia, her family, and her community of Newtown. Thank you for giving us a place to express our heartache, and our commitment to each other.

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