A ship in harbor

I’ve committed to writing and posting every day.  It’s a promise I made to myself (more than to my readers) because I know that it’s so easy to decide NOT to write on the days when things are hard and to only highlight the successes and the funny challenges, leaving the frustrating, overwhelming or dark days undocumented.

Some days are harder than others.

Today, I’m really struggling to write.  Things were generally fine here in Vienna today.  We had a pretty normal “preparing for Christmas” Saturday with a grocery store trip, laundry folded, toys cleaned up, some gifts wrapped and a trip to a Christmas market.  Life was actually wonderfully good and normal and very pleasant.

I could write about some of that.  But every time I try to start, all I can think about is what happened in Connecticut yesterday.  While I was happily enjoying Benjamin’s successful return from a field trip with his class, tragedy was unfolding across the Atlantic.

I don’t want to think about it.  I don’t know how to process it.  I can’t really think about it.  Whenever I hear about someone losing a child, I kind of shut down a little.  I have a friend who lost a child to cancer over the summer, and although I shared the story on my blog back in the spring, I couldn’t bring myself to mention it — to anyone — when he passed away in August.  I understand that this is avoidance and denial and not at all the best of me as a person, but I just don’t know how to deal with it.

At the same time, I can’t think about much else, and I certainly can’t write about anything else.  So, if I’m going to hold myself to writing every day, and I’m going to be honest about what’s going on with me, I guess this is what I’m going to write about today.

I don’t have any profound words or deep reflections to share.  I don’t know.  I don’t know anything.  This kind of loss, this kind of violence, is inconceivable, heartbreaking and overwhelming.  It is terrifying.

I want to snuggle my babies and never let them go.  Anywhere.  Ever.  I want to keep them home.  No school.  No outings.  Nothing.  Just home, with me.  Home, where they are safe, where I can hold them and do my best to protect them from everything.

But that is not what children are destined for.  They aren’t meant to live in a perfectly protected bubble with me.  They have to go out, into the world, to learn and grow and explore and meet other amazing people and, together, make the world an even better place.

And right now, it just hurts too much to think about what happened in Connecticut, or what happened to my classmate’s child, or the loss of any parent ever who has to live through a single moment of that kind of pain.  I’m embarrassed to admit it, and honestly surprised at myself, but it hurts too much to even open myself up to feel empathy for what they’re experiencing.  I cannot face it.  I cannot look at it.  Even squinting at it sideways, the horror of it is so vast that I have to turn away.

I feel sick.  I feel broken.  I am so shocked and sad, and I am so sorry that I am not up to feeling the empathy and facing the darkness of it.

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