Sunday, December 16, 2012

Follow Up

The "I am Adam Lanza's Mother" article that I wrote about merely an hour ago has now showed up many places on Facebook.  The latest was George Takai's page (which, if you haven't "liked" yet, you should).  In 5 minutes, over 3,000 people have "liked" the post.  Amazing.

I hope this is the start of an important conversation.  And let us not underestimate how important this conversation is.  Mentally unbalanced people need a safe, caring, qualified place to turn when they are not in control.  And the jails are not it.

I also read a blog post by a friend of mine where she commented: "I didn't obsess about crazy US gun control policy, or how mentally ill people are left to navigate the world with little support, or how we exist in a culture that glamorizes violence to the point that we hardly even notice it anymore. I was too busy thinking about the parents, and how they will ever be able to get through this."

For a moment I felt guilty - like I hadn't taken the time to properly empathize with these poor parents who now have to face their lives without their beloved children (something that, in my mind, actually goes without saying).  Like this friend of mine was a better person for sinking into their grief and feeling so deeply for them.  Then I realized something.  If I focused too hard on that topic, it would emotionally sink me.  Of course I feel for them.  But to put myself too squarely in their shoes would kill me.

Realization:  we each deal with these tragedies in our own way.  This time I chose not to focus on the news, the sad faces, or the details too much.  I chose to voice my opinion instead.

You see, mass murdered didn't USED to happen. This is a relatively new phenomenon. So HOW do we stop this behaviour, what is causing it, and can we prevent it from happening again?  And those questions come up because we care about the parents and the children.  Because no parent should ever have  to go through what those parents are going through.  Because every child should feel safe when we leave them at their school for the day.

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