Maybe it is too soon to talk about healing. It must certainly feel that way for the friends and families of the victims in Connecticut. But I know I need to find a way to deal with it because when I’m down – it affects the whole family. The worried looks from my son and husband tell me I have to pull it together. I have that luxury.
This one hit me hard. “This one”. It still is difficult to fathom that “another school shooting” is something we say now. They have all been horrific. The Red Lake shooting in 2005 was not far from Bemidji MN, where I live. It affected people I knew; customers of ours at our glass shop. It was beyond heartbreaking. Still, “this one” affected me more deeply than any other shooting. The little children, Christmastime, the heroic acts of teachers and staff, the senselessness – it all just pierced my heart. It rocked me as a parent, as a daughter of teachers, as a sister. It is madness and I feel helpless.
Everyone I talk to is reeling from this tragedy. Of course, any pain we feel can’t begin to touch the pain of those directly affected. Nothing will change what happened of how helpless we feel. Still we need to find ways to begin to heal. We are a nation of doers. We feel better when we can” do something about it” But what?
Those discussions take time. Change is often painfully slow. What can we do now to begin to find peace?
If you have come to this blog as a fellow artist, I have a suggestion: Make something. The creative process can be very therapeutic. If you are a writer, write; a singer, sing; a painter… you get the idea. Pour your heart into a project as a memorial or tribute.
Now, I am not naive enough to believe that a little arts and crafts will make everything all better. I am saying that it is way to begin to heal. It is something you can do now.
At my friend’s café last Friday evening, an artist’s started painting a beautiful piece titled “Love.” You can see it here. http://www.lptv.org/index.php?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=228
With the help of the café and Bemidji community members, the finished piece will be sent to Newtown Connecticut as a way to reach out to them. To let them know that they are in our hearts. That is no small thing.
You don’t even have to do anything as grand. Create, even if it is your own private remembrance. Who knows what will come from it?
Art may not be your thing. You can still do something by simply reaching out to people. My parents instilled in us the importance of doing for others. It fosters your compassion and helps you put your problems into perspective. It can also make you feel less alone.
You may feel powerless to help the families of Sandy Hook but you can help make a difference in someone’s life right where you live. It could be a friend, a family member or a complete stranger. Look for opportunities. They are out there – especially this time of year. Get down in the trenches as a hands-on volunteer or simply reach out to somebody in a gesture of kindness. Your act may help restore someone’s faith in human kind.
It is easy to be overcome with grief and despair; to fear that our world is evil. Yet, there is so much good in the world. Take notice of the good things that people do. Cherish the beauty around you and the compassion you see in others. Let those things begin to heal your heart.
Let me leave you with this story:
A group of survivors from the Red Lake shooting traveled to Newtown Connecticut this week to try to give some comfort to the community. They know they can make a difference because survivors from the Columbine shooting came to give them comfort when they needed it. They are doing what they can do.
There is goodness in the world
Cherish your Holiday time with family and friends. May the New Year bring peace and healing.