It's hard to know what to say

in the face of such tragedy. We have had wars and weather disasters and certainly, sadly, our share of school shootings. I was teaching in the days of Columbine. It was hard hard hard then, and this is no different except for these were babies...tiny little first grade innocents whose lives were snuffed out senselessly. It  rocks the world of  everyone I know. 

And so I have tried not think too much because it hurts to go there for too long all the while knowing that whatever it is I think and feel is useless compared to that of what the Newtown parents must feel.

What keeps coming back to me is this thing I have for words and most specifically for names. I have always felt something for names. It is one of the first major acts of parenthood in which we bestow our baby beloved~ a moniker that shapes our perception of who they are. And so, it is on that that thread that I wrote for our local paper after listening to a debate on whether or not the names should be said. Of course the names should be read! I thought. That is all that is left! I do not want to know the name of the killer. I won't memorize that name and avoid a picture at all cost, because, for me, for now,  he is not worth knowing. I am not cold to mental illness. I have my own personal experiences to reflect upon, but that is a different and difficult conversation that is long overdue and will be had in weeks and months to come.  But those kids, those babies, those lovely little people, are worth knowing now, acknowledging for at least a minute through a word....their name.

Say Their Names




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