After yesterday’s shooting in Connecticut, it didn’t seem possible anyone could say anything to mitigate the pain. Facebook has been awash in attempts, most misfiring, including my clumsy wish for control of high-capacity ammunition.
This morning on NPR there was an interview with Rabbi Shaul Praver of Temple Adath Israel in Newtown. He spoke about finding meaning in horrible events. I wrote this song/poem a short while ago, inspired by his words. I hope this is more consoling than painful.
L.k. That’s beautiful.
Thank you, Linda.
Dear LK, I have long been a fan of yours and a follower of your blog. I just read this poem in my email, where I get each of your posts delivered. I just wanted to tell you it is absolutely gorgeous and truly touching. I am amazed by your creativity and the ability to craft such a beautiful piece in such a short time.
I lost my sister to gun violence almost 5 years ago – we are approaching the fifth anniversary on January 9th, also, sadly, my father’s birthday. She was shot and killed by her husband (who then killed himself) but, thank god, he had just dropped off their beautiful then-6-year-old daughter, my gorgeous niece, at school. We are at least blessed to still have her with us, and she has lived with my parents ever since. As hard as it has been on me, as much as I *still* struggle every single day with facing the reality of no longer having my sister in my life, the true heroes here are my parents. Like the poor men and women in Newtown, they have faced the worst nightmare of every parent – which I can say with certainty since my own is now 4 and a half (yes, that means I was pregnant when my sister was killed) – and that is the loss of one’s child, whether to violence or sickness or accident, etc. I am inspired every day with their strength and courage and sheer determination to not just make it through our tragedy themselves but also to raise my niece and, someday very soon, to answer all of her questions about what happened and *why* it happened, and to console her at each of the important steps in her life to come when she cries because her mom is not there to enjoy it with her or to help her through heartbreak. I am going to send your poem to them immediately. Of course it made me cry, as I’m sure it will them, but it also gave me an enveloping feeling of peace, as I hope it will do for them.
I also hope that your words may do the same for those parents, siblings, grandparents, ALL those affected by Friday’s tragedy in Newtown. My heart breaks for those who now have holes in their lives – and in their hearts – and for those beautiful young children and school employees who escaped with their lives but had to live through that terror – the aftermath of which they will be living with for the rest of their lives.
I was against guns long before I lost my sister, and you’d better believe that hasn’t changed. We simply MUST do something as a country to stop these tragedies, be they mass shootings or domestic violence or random drive-bys. There are no words for the horror I feel at witnessing the unspeakable acts of humans against one another. I can only pray that the particular horror we feel at seeing this happen to such young, achingly innocent children will change the national discourse and spur positive action for change.
My apologies for the length of this post, but it is the first time I’ve spoken about what happened Friday, so thank you for bearing with me. Most importantly, thank you so much for these beautiful words. I will treasure this poem always.
I am grateful that you found some comfort in my poem, and so humbled that you sent it on to your parents. I was unsure if I should share it – not wanting to add to people’s pain.
I’m so sorry for your loss. Such a death is so unfair, and so unnecessary.
Thank you for sharing your experience – I am certain that it helps others who’ve suffered similar sorrows.
L.K., you are such an amazing woman, blessed with the gift of crafting the most beautiful words. Thank you for sharing this gift with us. I am humbled.
Jenna, thank you for your very kind words.
I read your poem at my son’s funeral and I just want you to know it touched a great many people. Myself included. Thank you for sharing it with us.
I am so sorry for your terrible loss. If my poem helped you at all, I’m grateful. Thank you for letting me know. My thoughts are with you.