These have been terrible, bleak days for many, many people.
Like all of you, I’ve spent the weekend trying to make sense of senselessness. Our fellow Americans are hurting, once again, in the wake of horrific violence. Last Wednesday, a young man went to a mall in Portland, Oregon, and shot two people to death before he killed himself. On Thursday, a man walked into a federal courthouse in Birmingham, Alabama, and shot himself to death. And on Friday, another young man forced his way into an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut and killed 20 children aged 6-7, and 6 school staffers, including the principal, the psychologist, and 4 teachers. He then shot himself to death in a classroom. Later, it was revealed that he had also shot his mother to death at the home where they both lived.
For these events, I simply do not have the words to express what I know many of us are feeling. I can’t possibly begin to understand the level of grief that friends and families of those who died are experiencing and will continue to experience in the coming days. I have no answers, and can only offer what comfort I can, and try to help the various funds that have been set up.
This is the Newtown Memorial Fund, to help cover the costs of funerals and, long-term, to help cover costs for a memorial. Newtown Youth and Family Services is available for emergency counseling, as well as to offer support services to local families. You can donate to them, as well. And here’s the Sandy Hook School Support Fund, through the United Way of western Connecticut.
But you can help in other ways, too.
Take care of each other. Tell your friends and family you love them. Be vigilant about the people around you, and if you think they’re having some kind of emotional or psychological issue, try to get help for them. Offer support to the families of those who deal with someone who is having those kinds of issues. Talk to each other. Build community and support it. Look out for each other. Participate. Endure. Love.
Peace and comfort to all of those affected by these awful events, and let us honor those who were torn from this life so violently by working together to prevent such from happening again.
We are all we have. Change starts with each of us.