I am sickened, saddened and grieving for and with the families who lost their loved ones in Newtown, CT. However after the sadness, for me, has come anger and confusion. I cannot imagine getting my 6 year old ready for school that morning, preparing breakfast and dropping her off and heading to work only to get a call like the one the parents in Newtown received. My heart just breaks at the thought. We just go through our normal daily routine never thinking something like this could happen. I wish I could personally be there for each parent and loved one just to hold a hand, wipe a tear or shower with love. What I continue to come back to is how this could have been prevented and what needs to happen so that no other family ever experiences this level of pain again, ever.
Yes, there should be stricter gun laws, although I am not quite clear of the difference it would have made in this unspeakable crime. But my thoughts track back to the killer’s parents. I pray that Nancy Lanza rests in peace. I just wonder what warnings were ignored. I am having trouble believing that there were no signs. I am sure that nothing of this magnitude could have been expected, but I feel as though there were clues that were missed.
The moment we discover that we are going to be parents, a few of the things we pray for is a healthy pregnancy and that our child is born with all his/her fingers and toes and that they are healthy. We naturally want the best for our children and their futures. We want them to do well in school and be successful, have friends, not be teased and so much more. We want these things so bad that sometimes we ignore symptoms that reveal they aren’t quite like everyone else. Because of that, there are parents who don’t do everything absolutely possible to ensure their children are properly diagnosed and receive the help or treatments they need. As parents, we can no longer ignore the facts.
Unfortunately, violent tragedies are happening every where, every day. There are parents who know their children are in trouble and are doing nothing. In addition to those children who are struggling with social disorders and mental illnesses, there are those children whose parents know are perpetrating violent crimes, participating in gangs and carrying guns and no actions are being taken. In some cases, parents have completely stopped parenting, which puts other innocent lives in jeopardy. Parents, our job has to extend past the normal care we provide. We have to be fully active and present. Being aware of changes in our children and maintaining transparent communication with them is critical. And when behaviors and attitudes seem to change, we can’t be afraid to take immediate action. Our children and their actions are our responsibility.
I will continue to pray for the families who have lost their loved ones at the hands of such a disturbed individual. But I will also pray that more parents show up and make sure the emotional, physical and mental needs of their children are taken care of.
BMWK – what do you think needs to be done to prevent tragedies such as this in the future?