Thursday, December 20, 2012

Hard times

This has been a hard month.

I can't stop thinking about those children and their families from Connecticut.  And when I think of them, I cry.  Doesn't matter if I am on the bus, at work, putting my precious child to bed -- I cry.  Because I could not put the pieces of my life back together if B was taken away from me, and I hate thinking about how these parents have to try to do just that.  Maybe because I did lose someone suddenly (my father died suddenly when I was 14), I know too well the true deep grief that one feels when the world changes in an instant.  But the loss of a child?  That is too much to bear -- it violates the very order of things in the universe.  And so I cry for those families, I cry in fear that something could happen to B, and I cry because I have known loss and it never really goes away.

I've signed every gun control petition that is out on the internet, I've written my congressman and senators, and signed up for the million kids march and I've hugged everyone tightly.  So not much more to actually DO.  Yet despite my action to try to repair the world, those families still lost children.

Other scary things in recent past?  Let's see -- there was the terrible terrible tragedy of a nanny having a breakdown and stabbing two young children to death in their apartment. 10 blocks from my house, and very much in my community. The mother was out with her middle child at swimming when it happened.  Where I take B to swimming.  I have a nanny that I love and trust with my child, but this was so, so close to home.  It scared everyone I know. It broke my heart and was completely terrifying.

Then there was the hurricane.  In which people we know lost everything they have, others died when trees suddenly fell on them, and two children got pulled out of their mother's arms by rising flood waters and drowned.  Also completely terrifying. Because I cannot imagine living as that mother with that loss and guilt and sadness.

And then most randomly, a mentally ill person pushed a passenger in front of a subway. And he died.  I'm afraid of very little in the city, but that actually happens to be my irrational fear, but it turns out to be not so irrational after all.

People die every day.  People die random, unplanned, tragic deaths every day.  And every one of those people should be mourned.  Yet somehow in my community, in my world, there seems to be just so much that is scary and sad and it makes me question if or how I can protect my family.  I guess I can't really keep B in a bubble, with me at all times in our home.  But there is just so much sadness and fear.

This is so damned depressing. But it's been a rough month with a lot of crying.  There is just so much sadness these days, I hope that we can all pull together to make things a bit brighter for us and our children.


  1. Yes. An absurdly hard month to parent. I am quite sure that none of the prior catastrophes have struck me in quite the same way as the UWS murders and the shooting in Newtown. I remember 9/11 and Columbine, and I remember feeling puzzled and upset, but being, quite simply fine. I don't know if it is just the immediacy (while I did not know the family in our neighborhood, we know a lot of people I knew we'd be linked with a few degrees of separation. Sure enough the next morning I got one of those awful texts: "Can't handle grief counselors at pre-K. What are you doing this morning?" And then we spent that very evening at a party with families who use the same pre-K). And I think this shooting strikes fear into every parent who leaves their little kid in a classroom and heads out the door.

    I really don't think there is anything to do except to allow ourselves the space to be not okay. We were late to school this week and the head teacher basically yelled at me, and I just smiled and said I really don't care. Because I didn't. Because what I needed that morning was to sit on the couch and watch my kid play happily, even if it made us all late.

  2. I could have written this. It's hard -impossible, I'd say -not to struggle beneath the shadow of these things. Last Friday took my breath away and I'm still not breathing regularly. I thought about you when I heard about the nanny, wondering how close that was and whether it was the same pool. The loss of your dad - the hard experience of the shock of that - must compound all of it (and I'm sorry).

    Hugs to you and to B. Sometimes it is so very hard to be at peace, and I've been struggling with it a lot myself recently.

  3. I was thinking and feeling the same. It has been a horribly hard time lately. Here's to 2013 being peaceful, loving and calm.

  4. Thanks for putting into words feelings that I am having too.

  5. I've held my boys, my husband, my family, my friends extra tight this month, that's for sure.