The news of 19 children and 2 teachers killed in a mass shooting in an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas has shaken us to our core.
Our hearts are broken. The memories of a similar tragedy, nearly ten years ago at Sandy Hook, flood back into our minds. We are overcome by feelings of sadness, despair, disgust, numbness, and anger.
We cry out for the families who are not able to hold their children tonight. We ask one another, how long will this continue to go on? We are at a loss for words.
When I first heard this terrible news I was standing in my kitchen making dinner. My 17 year old daughter heard me cry out from the other room and came in to see what was wrong. I hugged her and we cried together.
She was eight, in the third grade, at the time of Sandy Hook. Now she is about to graduate high school. In the time between there have been so many shootings, so many children gunned down, so many politicians who have done nothing to stop this.
I have worried often for my children’s safety, and struggled for the right words to say to them in the face of senseless violence. I know that many of you have also worried and are struggling now.
Darlene and I talked today about how we can best support our families and, really, all of you who have children in your lives in whatever capacity. Please know that we are both available if you need to talk. Darlene also shared with me an excellent resource from Dr. Aliza Pressman called “What to say when the words escape us all”. In this article, Pressman offers tips for talking with children of all ages about this horror. As Pressman writes, “We have to balance the truth of what happened with the fact that we still need them to know they are safe.” We hope this resource might offer some guidance for our families at this time.
For all who are hurting, please know that you are not alone. It is ok to feel what you feel, to cry out, and to hold your children and one another tight. It is what we need to do right now. When we are ready we will face this news with courage and turn our broken hearts into action. We will continue to work for healing our broken world, even bolder than before.
Rev. Terri Pahucki & Darlene Anderson-Alexander