December 17th, 2012

Only One Way to Go From Here

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Groovy Green Livin one way

Had you asked me last week what I was planning to write about today my answer would have been very different than it is right now. There’s only one thing on my mind. After the horrible, senseless actions of one man everything aside from the lives lost feels very trivial.

I took the weekend off. No writing, no television, no news. Just time with my family.

I found myself looking at my kids differently after Friday, actually thinking what life would be without them. Unimaginable.

This morning I woke up and found myself starring for too long at a blank computer screen. I’m at a complete loss for words. Everything feels insignificant. Scheduling and planning no longer matter. Because of one man and many needless deaths I’ve changed and I know you have too. The world has changed.

We struggled all weekend with whether or not to tell our kids and with how much to share. I need a manual. I don’t know what to say or how to act. So many of your words helped me. Then I thought of the Newtown families. Telling isn’t a choice.

When the yellow school bus arrived to take my kids off to school I said my goodbyes as I do every day, but it didn’t feel the same. I resisted the urge to get in my car and escort each of my boys to their respective schools and watch them walk safely into their classrooms, now guarded by a police officer.

Trying to act normal isn’t cutting it. Returning to life as we know it isn’t possible. Maybe I need one more day, maybe two. The people of Newtown can’t hope for that.  Everyday will be a constant reminder that something unimaginable happened. My heart breaks for them.

To honor the memory of so many who needlessly lost their lives last week, I’m dedicating this day to them. No debates about gun control and mental health. There is a time and place for that. Today is a day only to honor those who are no longer with us and show peace and compassion to all. There’s only one way to go from here. We must continue to work together to make this world a safer place for our children and all children.

Please stand by. I’ll be back on track someday soon.

How are you coping? 

Barbara Meltz, whom I had the pleasure of meeting at Barefoot Books a few months ago, wrote an article in the Boston Globe which discusses how to talk with your children when they come home from school today. I found it very helpful, I hope you will too. 

Photo credit: Pink Sherbet Photography via photopin cc

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21 Responses to “Only One Way to Go From Here”

  1. I feel exactly the same way, the insignificance of things and the loss for words. Our school district sent out an email with advice on talking with your children about tragedy. We did not end up talking about it with them, but I wonder what they may have heard at school today. I will take a look at the linked article.

  2. Hi Marsha, My kids are about to come home from school and I’m afraid. Afraid to hear what they learned at school. Afraid that I’m not going to have any answers or explanations for them. I found Barbara’s article helpful-I hope you will too.

  3. It’s been on my mind since Friday but I’m doing all the things I normally do – because those people, those parents, can’t. Their lives are ruined. My heart aches for them, but my kids need me to be “normal”. To put importance in the trivial things they do like making ornaments and going to karate practice. Those things I need to do with all my motherly love so that those kids who lost their lives and the parents that lost their “normal” won’t be in vain. Their nightmare has made my normal look beautiful.
    Kathy recently posted..Favorite Things: The Little Yoga Mat! (Giveaway!)My Profile

  4. I feel like this is such a critical time for us to be strong parents, strong Americans, and strong neighbors (even if they are miles away). I hope that we all can take the collective sadness we feel and make our children feel safe again both with emotional support and real action to make sure that they are safe and feel safe.
    Leigh recently posted..What Do We Do Now?My Profile

  5. Beautifully put, Lori, thank you. We got an email from our 29-year old son over the weekend. He just wanted to tell us and his brother that he loves us. Of course, he, his brother, and all of those kids and teachers were all I could think about over the weekend. I started wailing with gratitude when I saw his note.

    I’m sure you’ll handle this just right with your kids. And I’ll be thinking of them and you today, too.
    Judith A. Ross recently posted..“If It Were Up to Me”My Profile

  6. Lori, I feel the same way. I think I was numb over the weekend, but today I am obsessed. Everyone needs to do what works for them to deal with such a horrific event. Good for you for giving your kids extra lovin’!

  7. I’m right there with you, Lori. I’m at a total loss for words and my heart aches for all of the people in that community. I didn’t cry until today when I was finally at home alone. I might need a couple more days, too. Give your boys an extra hug from me.
    Cathy recently posted..Just Dance Disney Party for Nintendo Wii {Review}My Profile

  8. Very well written Lori. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and emotions with us – I think that helps us all to be able to have a dialogue about these things. My husband and I chose not to talk to our kids about it over the weekend, and I did just get a question about it from my oldest (based on what she heard at school today). We talked briefly about it, and she seemed fine after we were done, so I’m thinking I did an okay job. I’m sure you’ll do the same when and if your children come to you with questions

  9. I feel the same way Lori. I’m hoping some time with the family will get my heart and mind back into “normal” again.
    Jen @ Go Green recently posted..What’s NextMy Profile

  10. Hi Jen, I think time is the only thing that will help. I’m not sure what normal is anymore.

  11. Thanks Becky. That means a lot to hear. Talking about everything has really helped me process what happened. I know you are doing more than an OK job. Thanks for the support.

  12. Thanks Cathy. Lots of hugs over here. They don’t know what hit them. Hope you’re doing well and coping.

  13. So true Ronnie. Doing what works best for you and your family is most important.

  14. Thanks so much Judith. What a wonderful email from your son. If something positive is to come from any of this it’s all the love that people are expressing. Hugs to you. xo

  15. Hi Leigh, yes, it is a critical time for all of us to take action. I’m just not sure I have the energy yet. I’m still processing and it’s too painful. Hopefully time will help and we can all work to keep all children safe.

  16. Good for you Kathy. I think there’s something to be said for continuing on normally. I agree-normal is looking very beautiful these days.

  17. [...] Only One Way to Go From Here | Older December 19th, [...]

  18. Lori, thanks for sharing this. I just found your blog through a reference to it on another blog (My Plastic Free Life), which was discussing this same topic. I feel like so many of us are searching for comfort and answers (as if there is a logical answer…), and reading how others are coping (or not) is a way to work through this difficult time. I wrote about this same topic myself, in case you’re interested:

    http://www.joyfullygreen.com/2012/12/searching-for-solace-in-the-wake-of-sandy-hook.html

    Anyway, I’m glad to have found your blog and I look forward to reading more of your work.
    Joy recently posted..Searching for Solace in the Wake of Sandy HookMy Profile

  19. Hi Joy, I agree-it’s really helped me to read what others (including your piece) have written during this difficult time. Thanks very much for stopping by.

  20. [...] so much tragedy and loss over the past week I’m planning to spend some quality time with my family and relax for a [...]

  21. [...] another vacation has come to a close. But this vacation felt different than others. The toll of the Sandy Hook tragedy was next to impossible to ignore. The hugs were that much bigger and the ability to remain [...]

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About Lori

I’m Lori Popkewitz Alper, a recovering attorney, mom of three and the Founder of Groovy Green Livin. I hope you'll join me as I embark on a journey to live a healthy life. Along the way I might make a few pit stops to fight for issues that affect the health and safety of our families. Come along with me as I work hard to make the world a little safer for each of us. Together we'll discover that simple, small changes can lead to a healthier lifestyle and a greener planet.

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