>When there are no words…

Around now, I generally write about getting through the holidays without throwing a can of Who-hash at your mother-in-law’s head… But in light of what happened in Newtown, such a rant seems misguided.

I can’t even speak as a therapist about this – the Mother Bear inside me is growling and protective. I draw my daughter close to feel her soft breath and rub my nose in her wispy hair. I hide from her my struggle to keep fear from consuming me, because fear indiscriminately keeps us separate – it is not helpful to her, or to us.

Of course, it is important that we attend to the issues of gun control and school security. That said, I’m mostly concerned about the more complicated issues around preventing another tragedy like this. I worry about the parents, and families of people in pain, who cannot get the help they need for themselves or their children. I worry about how neighbors, classmates, or co-workers often respond to disturbing behavior by getting out of the way, because we have no idea what else to do. I worry about the cracks in the system that allow people to feel so alone. It should not be this hard to support someone who feels so lonely. 

To live in a safer world, our children need to know what to do when they see someone in pain, and that starts with us. My daughter needs to see me ask questions about what I don’t understand, and try to help people who are in trouble. Our children need us to courageously step outside and reach for our neighbors with compassion rather than hide from them in fear.

I know that there are wounds which will never heal. I know that the recovery process will be slow and painful. My hope for the people of Newtown is that they continue to experience the kindness and compassion they are now receiving. My hope for all of us is that we can focus on reaching out rather than recoiling at things we don’t understand, and ensure that there are quality resources available, not only to people in pain, but to their families as well.

I wish you compassion, comfort and joy as we enter a new year.

Article: Talking to Children about the Unspeakable







One response to “>When there are no words…”

  1. Boston Mama

    I really appreciated reading your newsletter. Even though you said there are no words, I think the words you chose to express said volumes. Thanks for putting it out there.

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