My favorite mass is Ash Wednesday. There are many lessons to learn from this mass, but the overriding, and my favorite, message is you’re going to die. Furthermore, so is everybody else. I have taken both the boys, and it has always upset Tammi. She understands that they are going to die one day, but doesn't think it should be thrown in her face, or more literally marked on her face.
And then there is Connecticut.
Talk about throwing it in your face. Here I was having a nice day, and boom all over the news is evidence of the randomness of this life. Glenn and I were at the kitchen table, painting Christmas cards for his mom, while I listened in the background to the horrible news of the day.
By far the hardest part for me, and many others, is just how you shoot a 5 year old. I mean I understand how guns and violence works, but I do not understand, how someone could actually do that. It truly breaks your heart to think of those kids, only a year younger than Glenn, and the grief their parents and family must feel.
A lot of people are thinking about the causes, and prevention of another tragedy. I’m not really doing that. Although, I do believe that stricter gun control laws are not the answer. I am for stronger gun control, I just don’t know that it fixes this problem. Sadly I think that next month, hell maybe even next week, it will have left the news cycle, and it will be out of sight out of mind, for those not directly affected.
What I do think about, is how I would cope. Does the age of the kids matter? Is losing a 5 year old worse than losing an 18 year old? I think either way you’re going to feel like time was taken from you. I would be happier to have had 18 years rather than 5, but it’s not a choice we get to make. Having not been through this, I would console someone to feel blessed with the time they were given. Yet, that seems like something that’s easy to say. Tammi would be a goner. I think that I have a 40% chance of not losing my mind, but if I did it wouldn't be pretty folks. The over/under for divorced, jobless, and alcoholic is 2.5 years. I just hope those people who lose children aren’t restricted by the perception, and seek the mental health they need.
(There is a whole other issue about this situation)
Here is another question…Are people who have children affected more by this tragedy, than those without children? I’m very tempted to say yes, but that seems rude and dismissive. I can tell you that I think I have been affected more, than if I didn’t have kids. It is easy to see that the closer you are to a situation, or a better way to put it, the more you have in common with a situation, the more you are affected. Now that I write that, I don’t think that affected is the right word either. Maybe, sympathize?
If you continue this logic, than you would say that people who have lost children, are more affected by this than people who have not lost their children. Ultimately, this isn't a contest, so the question is a little stupid. We are all sad, and we all feel that sadness differently. It doesn't make it worse or better.
People keep saying to go home and hug your children…It misses the point. Go hug your children, your wife, call your parents, your grandparents, contact old friends on Facebook, go take your nieces and nephews a homemade gift, reach out to cousins you haven’t seen in ages, and have your buddies over for a beer. Not just this week, but every week. Because we’re all going to die, and all we have is the time we have.