Since the December 14 murders in Newtown, Connecticut, the desire and inspiration to write here about gardening has become remarkably unimportant to me. This tragedy happened in my state. It occurred in a town similar to mine. To children and teachers just like those growing, living, and working here.
With a blog tagline of Gardening thoughtfully in Connecticut, I cannot continue to write about gardening without first writing thoughtfully about the babies gunned down and the educators who died trying to protect them.
They all died while doing the most normal thing … going to school. They were totally innocent.
The children were the reason parents inhale … the children were the future.
Unless you have walked in their shoes, the intense sadness, misery, sorrow that is now part of these parents’ lives is beyond comprehension. In reality, there are no words that adequately describe what they are going through.
Knowing a different form of grief because of the loss of a loved one can only hint as the level of despair these parents, and siblings, and other family members now live with and will continue to carry for the rest of their lives.
Beyond these families, this tragedy will be carried in the souls of the Emergency Medical Technicians, Firefighters, Police Officers, and every person who responded to help with this emergency. People who train to help save others must now live on with the memory that, in this case, they could not.
I am taking some time to reflect on this tragedy, to grieve in my own way, to absorb how this tragedy has altered our lives.
And it MUST alter our lives. It MUST keep the issue of mental health care, of firearm access, of school security at the forefront of national conversations and action. It MUST cause us to analyze the facts that come out of the investigation into how and, possibly, why this happened. We MUST do so with open eyes while acknowledging, at the local, state, and national level, that our world is different from the one this nation’s founders foresaw.
If this event – the gunning down of twenty innocent school children and six of their educators – does not cause us to rethink how we operate, then what will?
This blog will soon resume its focus, Gardening thoughtfully in Connecticut, but not right now. Not when this tragedy is still so raw … not while such dark clouds hang over my state.