Today, you might have noticed a large number of bloggers observing a "Day of Silence" in honor of the Sandy Hook shooting victims. When I first heard about the event, I decided to participate. However then I thought about some of my friends who couldn't participate due to commitments to sponsors and I would feel like maybe they would be looked down upon for not participating. So here is my own way of observing the Day of Silence...by sharing what is in my heart.
I am a mom of three kids. Little kids. The oldest one is just shy of being in kindergarten, the same age as the victims. When I first heard the terrible news, it took awhile for me to process, as I learned new details and looked into it for myself. When it suddenly hit me, I had this awful vision in my head of saying goodbye to my little boy as I dropped him off at school, not knowing that would be the last time I would see him alive. I had other more graphic visions in my head that caused me to break down and cry, multiple times. Even now. Stuff like this shouldn't happen. Ever.
It is very difficult to lose someone before their time. I've lost my grandmother and my sister-in-law this year and both were very different experiences and continue to be very different. My grandmother was 92, stricken with Dementia, and in all ways ready to meet her Maker. She had lived a full life. My Grandpa still misses her terribly but knows it won't be long until they are reunited. I cried when I learned that she had passed and at her funeral, because I will miss her. But I also know she is happier now, in Heaven. She is able to use her body again and be of service to the Lord. It was right. It was time.
When my sister-in-law passed, it was all wrong. It was not expected by any of us, and it happened pretty quickly. Sometimes I think back to those days when we didn't know if she would live or die and remember specific things about it, the anxiety, the fervent praying, the phone calls every hour. I barely slept those few days. And yet something occurred to me to let me know that she wouldn't make it, that it was not God's will to have her on earth. And when I have moments of grief and anger, I think back to that moment and it helps me remember that God's plan is so much bigger than us. But it is still sad, and it is still difficult, and we still struggle to pick up the pieces she left behind.
And now that is what the families of those young victims will have to do, every day for the rest of the days they spend on earth. It will be a long time before they see their children again. But I believe in eternal families, that we can see our families after this earth life is over and they will greet us with open arms. I believe that we all have a purpose after our life on earth is over, something that is even more important than our journey here. And that is why our journey here is so DANG hard, because God is preparing us for what's next. And it's those kind of thoughts that really do help me through the death of loved ones.
But that being said, I truly do NOT know how I would cope with losing a child. It's my biggest fear. I love my children with a love that is greater than any love I've ever felt and even just the THOUGHT of losing any of them makes me cry. I even morbidly occasionally have thoughts of "What If" scenarios, like What IF I got in a car accident and we all died, leaving my husband here? You know, thoughts like that. And truthfully, it's good for me to have thoughts like that from time to time, because it makes me a better wife and mother. It makes me remember how life can be cut short in an instant and how every second I have with them is precious and I shouldn't spend any of it being mad or frustrated with them. Sometimes I'm stressed in the mornings and rush everyone out the door, upset that we are late AGAIN to taking Will to preschool. And how much regret would I have if the last words I said to Will were angry ones?
I'm not saying I'm never going to get mad at my kids or husband again because that is a ridiculous promise. But I will fervently try to have more patience and love for them, try to set aside my own pride and see things from their point of view. I will try to remember that my kids are just little kids and are trying to do the best they can, all while having fun and doing kid things. And most of all, I will be there for them. I will spend time with them.
Please pray for the families who lost someone. Please pray that this whole experience will help you be a better person, to cherish life in every aspect. Prayer is the easiest way to help, and I think it's one of the best. I pray specifically for peace for the people who are affected the most. Because only God can give them the peace they need to continue living their lives. And only God will be able to lessen the pain. Even though I'm sure many of them will be very angry with God and withdraw from Him--I pray they will find their way back. That somehow, they will be able to have peace...even for a quiet fleeting moment. Pray for peace.