Sandy Hook and … life

Emilie Parker, age 6. Rest in peace, dear child.

I can’t stop thinking about Sandy Hook. Specifically, I can’t stop thinking about the parents of the slain children.

Where do they go from here? What do they do?

This isn’t something you recover from; something you move past. Your life is, in many regards, ruined forever. There’s no getting past this; no great days at the beach, wonderful vacations, moments in the sun. Never. Ever. Ever. You are permanently haunted; permanently scarred. You blame yourself. You blame timing. You blame the shooter, and want to kill him. Only, he’s already dead. So you can’t.

Right now—at this very moment—there are rooms loaded with clothing. Towels, still filled with odors and stains, hanging from the back of bathroom doors. The bed is still messy from the last time your child got up. There are dishes in the sink covered with his/her last crumbs. There are photographs everywhere. There are videos; YouTube clips. Your calendar is marked down with play dates; with Christmas week plans. You can hear your child’s laugh; your child’s cry. You’re imagining, in your head, what those last moments were like for him/her. You try and push it out of your head … but you can’t. It’s stuck there, like mold.

How does a person move past this? How does a person go on living? For some, it comes in having other children to care for. They need you. Your guidance. Your strength. For others … I don’t know.

I just don’t know.