Saturday, December 15, 2012

Never...Not Ever.

I've written this twenty times and it never falls from my fingers the way I'd like it to, with as much sincerity, or with the proper amount of distance and perspective. Maybe it's an impossible task since we all saw what happened in Connecticut on Friday with such different lenses...some as parents, some as prosecutors, and some as victims, reminded all over again of their own trauma. Some people weren't sure which lenses to apply to a scene so harrowing and horrible that few imaginations could process the images and ideas that we were bombarded with. How do you insert something so horribly earthly into words that you hope might reach ethereal heights? How do you articulate that? Maybe you never harness that kind of trauma with mere words or ideas, but I wanted to try. When I get upset, or confused, or frightened I write, and this would require writing, but I couldn't. There have been few moments when I could not find words. What did I even want to say? I wasn't even sure. I just knew that my head and heart were bursting.

Still, nothing.

Tragedy...horror...the impossible healing...hatred...and nowhere room for hope. And that is where my heart breaks, again perhaps, as it did with those families who have suffered. Where is hope now that logic and decency and reason has died along with so many? I say it must be there in the has to be...there is no other choice but to wake up and build hope and help healing, and remind ourselves that this may be the way that things are but it is not the way they are supposed to be.

This may be the way that things are but it is not the way they are supposed to be.

I posted a quiet, gentle plea on Facebook for the people that orbited around my world. It is here, below:

Please friends and strangers alike... no more talk of "the idiot that did this", or "the dirt-bag that destroyed so many lives", or whatever awful things I keep hearing. As hard as it is to swallow there is a truth to this, as there always is, and as few of us will ever really understand or know, and it's that the young man who did this was in the most desperate need of help... that no one just snaps, it's not true. It's the biggest lie. It is unimaginably horrific, and it is so impossibly hard to comprehend but every poisonous comment only allows more ignorance to take root, and diverts so much attention from some very, very, very important issues. This isn't about evil, it's about a tragically empty vessel filled with the most incomprehensible confusion and pain, and misguided or even misdiagnosed, or simply just missed signs and symptoms. We shouldn't just be hugging our children tonight because of what we just saw. It's not about nurturing our children through this or because of this, it's about nurturing them period. There is no evil, there is only awful...and sometimes that awful is more than we can manage. If you need a place to pour such strong emotions please filter them into your families and your communities, distill more love than hate, and for your own sake, plant the seeds of perspective, not ignorance. I apologize for the lengthy rant but I rode in the back of a police cruiser to the hospital this afternoon with a young man who was falling apart and just needed someone to notice. When I looked in his eyes all I saw was confusion. I shudder to think what you would have found in Adam's eyes this morning, or yesterday, or four years ago. There is no such thing as evil, only awful. Please stop, and think twice. There were other parents and siblings involved today too, his. Everyone is a victim. Including us. Post perspective, not poison.

I begged everyone to please stop perpetuating the language of hatred, or of poorly informed and slanted misinformation, or to try to temper their own personal disgust, and it unexpectedly went something akin to viral. Most people's reactions were a mix of heartbroken, confused, and horrified. Most people were sympathetic and torn, but some responses frightened me. They weren't the kind of reactions I wanted to float down and frame my words. There was talk of God and the Devil. There was indignant disagreement, and worst of all accusations that my tune might change were I the parent of one of the children who were so tragically killed. I felt sick at the insinuation. Of course I would be angry. Of course I would be destroyed. I can't imagine being anything but broken, and confused, and disassembled in the most absolute manner that a heart and mind is maybe capable of. My priorities would be vastly different. Of course they would. My opinions would very likely be painted a darker shade. How could they not be? What I wrote took nothing away from the victims. What I wrote said nothing of anyone's God. What I wrote only began to acknowledge that this event has an equal tragedy in it's complexity. What I wrote was only meant to insert hope into a hopeless feeling time and place. I felt ashamed of people's responses...of the accusations and the acid flung back in the direction of heartfelt hope...of the ignorance of people. They spoke of prayer, and so I prayed that their own child never needed the kind of help and attention that Adam Lanza did. I prayed that I never would have to deal with people so incapable of forgiveness that as long as the horror marred someone else's family tree it was okay to hate someone's else's son. It makes sense, but it is not okay. Hatred is never okay, not even in response to hatred, not even in response to horror, and never in response to hope.


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