Monday, December 17, 2012

In dark days


I know that on the other side of darkness...


...is light.

I'm just not able to make that turn yet.

My tears won't fall and I am numb with grief for the families of the victims in Newton. Somehow I was doing pretty well until last night because I just couldn't fully understand what happened. And then I did.

How is everyone doing?

I am sending prayers of Love and Strength. I bet you are too.

PS. Big Little Wolf has provided a heads up about this excellent article by Nicholas Kristof in the New York Times that offers some realistic possibilities for gun control.


36 comments:

  1. I have a heavy, heavy heart my friend. Let's hope our sadness and anger galvanizes some effective action. But in the meantime, those children and their teachers are gone forever. As you say, one can only look forward to the light.

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  2. Heather, this is such a poignant post. We are all thinking of what must be done. For me, there is no reason anyone in our country should own an automatic weapon of any kind. I don't even like hunters of animals. Surely, this tragedy will change our laws. In the mean time, every single school should have armed guards, metal detectors, body scanners, etc. for EVERYONE who enters. I'm a parent and now a grandparent (my grandson will be 5 in January), all of us must demand this.

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    1. Absolutely agree with you. There is just no need for that kind of weaponry. "The right to bear arms" was written at such a different time.

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  3. I cannot even begin to comprehend the feelings of those parents and families of the victims... It defies belief... and yet this tragedy has happened... and I still can't quite believe that either... What is our world coming to? I feel so disheartened and sickened by the behaviour of some human beings... I am not sure how we recover or how we can really change it... xv

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    1. Vicki, the article is interesting, not sure if the link was up when you saw this post or not. It includes the tactics used by Australia and the success rate they have had since imposing them. And I agree with you that it defies belief. There is a part of me that is still in denial.

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  4. Dear Heather. Thank you for this post. I felt so sad for these poor families over the weekend. Now I just learned my neighborhood is related to the shooting: Noah, the 6-year old who was killed and mentioned in the news, has relatives here. His uncle, aunt and cousins live two houses down the street from me. I know his grandmother, who is French, very well. She is also a neighbor. As you can imagine, the whole neighborhood is rallying up to help them, especially Noah's young cousin, who is 6 years old, and was very close to him. I am about to go out and walk the family's dogs, to help out as best I can. Sad, sad, beyond words. Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)

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    1. Veronique, Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help - we are back from the roadtrip. Jackie

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    2. Actually, Vero if there is anything that any of us can do to help? I know from a distance but still...I am sure that they appreciate your efforts so much.

      It is terrible to think how far the wave of this sadness spreads.

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    3. Thank you ladies. It is too early to tell. The grandmother and son flew East for the funeral. We are trying to help the lady and her two young children here as best we can. They are setting up a fund to help their relatives (Noah's parents.) I will write about this on my blog as soon as I get more info. I am thinking it might actually be a good thing my French MIL is flying in on Thursday. When Noah's French grandma returns to our neighborhood, we will certainly have her over... Thank you for your support.

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    4. Thanks Vero but keep us posted. Seriously, if there is anything that they need, that we can do just mention it. And I really agree with you that your beautiful MIL will be able to provide some comfort in this terrible situation.

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  5. Hello Heather
    We are back to numb today, there was a thaw yesterday and we had a good cry. I don't believe there are any answers to this maddness. We refuse to listen to the media since we saw that the emphasis was solely on the President wiping away a tear. They miss the point completely and it all seems so heartless. Like Marsha said - "absolutely no automatic weapons"
    We continue to pray.
    Hugs to you
    Helen xx

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    1. I know that your Faith is helping you through and helping others too. I tried to write that but it just came out trite. No matter what our beliefs are, I know that intention does help. And yes, I am furious as well at how much of the media is handling such a horrific tragedy but perhaps they are at as much of a loss of understanding as we are?

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  6. Once again you've said it so beautifully Heather. We were in the midst of the vast Nevada countryside when the tragedy occurred - no cell phones, no radio to alert us to the events taking place beyond the peaceful path we followed. We'd heard initial reports before entering the empty land of 'possibly a shooting at a school' - tragic enough, but we reasoned only 'a possibility' - not reality and 'a shooting' not a cold-blooded massacre. What a shock to learn how the world had been turned upside down during a few hours of our disconnect.

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    1. Jackie, that is exactly the same experience that Remi and I had on 9/11. I was in Paris, on my last visit before moving from Manhattan. Remi had already found our new apartment but we had so little in it. We had spent the day in town and it was lovely. We came home to a panicked phone message from my Mom and as we had no tv, had to rely on the radio to decipher what had happened. In some ways, this tragedy reminds me of the other. In that it is just too terrible to understand. That it has brought our nation to its knees in sadness.

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  7. Thank you for this post Heather, and for your beautiful images and reminder. I've spent the past few days in a fog of sorrow, disbelief and anger -- and the 24-hour news cycle certainly hasn't helped. I hope our country can find a way forward, with peace, even though today it seems impossible.

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    1. Me too, Ann. I know that I keep walking in to rooms and forgetting why I was there. My heart goes to the family and friends.

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  8. ...in dark days... we shall light a kindle, thinking about all the families who lost their beloved ones, every where in the world.

    Let's keep our hope up for a better world.

    karin

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  9. That's exactly my thoughts too Heather, the right to bear arms was from such a very different time, so far removed from now. I can understand how they felt that was a right in that time, with what had gone on before. But that is not now. It is a long, long time ago and the world has moved in oh so many ways to a better place.

    It's the complete pointlessness of it all that leaves me so sad. But then, it wasn't about logic: this was a disturbed mind where the usual checks and balances of our moral compasses were just void. Nitch. So many questions, so few answers which are not confronting. And meanwhile, I keep thinking of all those families for whom the Christmas season will forever be a empty one, filled with memories and "what if" questions instead. They truly need our special thoughts now. xx

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    1. Yes, in whatever form they may take, I agree. And I can't stop fixating on the presents bought but not given to those young ones. I know that is so superficial but it haunts me. I don't know how the parents and family are getting through. This time should have never been such a destroyed one, for anyone, ever.

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  10. Leslie in Portland, OregonDecember 17, 2012 at 9:57 PM

    Thank you, dear Heather, for this post. It is important for us to voice our horror and our sorrow to each other (rather than trying to feel part of a community by watching television coverage) and then to work together to do all we can to prevent any more mass shootings or gun murder. Banning assault weapons and ammunition, and imposing strict safety measures on the possessors or any firearm, will be a start, but far more than that will be required. For now, though, we grieve together. I appreciate the opportunity to do that with the Lost in Arles community.

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    1. Thank you so much Leslie. I didn't know what to do today but finally I needed to touch base with you all. I hope this wasn't inappropriate. I really do believe that our government can take action from here. As written in the linked article, after horrible instances in Canada and Australia, yes, things did change and lives were certainly saved.

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  11. Heather, I was out this morning for awhile. Everyone is trying to carry on, but you can feel that our
    hearts are broken. Broken for these families, broken for all the lives that have been altered in such an
    awful way. You know that I lost a child - so I really know what they are going through. There are no
    words that can adequately describe the immense grief. I cannot watch television or read the newspapers.
    I have signed on to some gun control measures. Every country has the mentally ill. My country doesn't
    care who has assault weapons. They are designed to kill people - that is their only purpose. We must
    follow the example of Great Britain after the tragedy at Dunblane, where tiny children were murdered.
    They passed laws immediately. It has never happened again. Dear God, help me to assist this in some
    small way so this will never happen again. Thank you for listening and sharing our enormous grief.

    Love,

    Patty

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    1. Patty, I agree with you completely. I can't say more than I have already tried save that I am still sending you much good will and you can always be open here. You will always be supported. Gros bisous and I wish that I could give you a warm hug as this hits closer to home for you than it does for many of us, as painful as it is. I saw in the linked article that there are legal options. This gave me a tiny spark of hope for the future.
      Love,
      H.

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  12. May everyone involved find the light through all this darkness. I know I feel futile in the face of such a senseless massacre.

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    1. I do too Loree but at least we can sign petitions and make our voices heard. I know that it doesn't seem like much...

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  13. Thank you so much, dear Heather for giving voice, some verbal outpouring to this excruciating pain. I'm in tears for several days, hugging my kid way more than usually. He said :" Poor moms, they already prepared Christmas gifts and there won't be little ones to give them to"... They had a moment at school about this incomprehensible event.
    The article you referred to in Big Little Wolf's post is brilliant and points out SOME decisive ways to approach this major problem, to follow the successful example of other countries. The victims toll is shocking, unimaginable. What's going on in those sick minds? What about violent, zombie stupid video games flooding and affecting susceptible minds? How hard for many to overcome this virtual addiction. Not to mention the venomous action movies with blood all over which teach that the most powerful and cool guy is a brainless killer. This low end mass production is supported by society, sadly the evil sells well. Shouldn't it be banned too to preserve the sanity of young generation?
    Unspeakable, heart wrenching tragedy for so many families and innocent angel souls lost.
    I sincerely hope that the US leaders will be able to put their heads together to deal with this problem.
    My heartfelt, deepest thoughts are with those orphaned families...

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    1. Mine are too, Natalie and I know that your little one must be so needing your support right now. I am sending it right back to you...
      xoxo,
      h

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  14. It is so heartbreaking, no words describe it. I read the article you linked and agree with it. I applauded Prime Minster John Howard for doing what he did in Australia...his determination on making that decision has saved many lives...I only hope and pray America can move on this issue.
    xxx

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    1. I was so glad that what had changed in your country was mentioned, D. It proves that it can be done and WILL make a difference...

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  15. Our thoughts and prayers have been with all those who have been touched by this horrific event in Newton, especially those families who now have an empty chair at their table.
    " Imagine all the people living life in peace. You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one. I hope someday you'll join us, and the world will be as one." John Lenon

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    1. I will be singing that song today in my head, Elizabeth. A good thing. Merci.

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  16. Hi Heather. I am so with you about the dark days...there will be light again. I must point out that I'm pretty sure I recognize the building in the second picture. It's near the corner of 4th and Washington in Ann Arbor, right? My former in-laws used to live there. I spent many a Christmas there in that downtown loft and miss it often.

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    1. Yep, good eye Liza. And the first is the big parking structure visible when you come in to dowtown on Main. Hug to you...

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