Words are inadequate. The unspeakable tragedy of today’s events in Connecticut go beyond any ability of words to comfort or explain away or mitigate.
My daughter works with children of pre-school age. She’s always seeing the world and its issues through that lens. I asked her permission to quote her facebook entry of a little bit ago:
“So, I think we’re all freaked out and very sad about the tragic events in CT. Our kids are sensitive to how we’re feeling – and they might hear about it too. These events are like snowballs, and can leave all of us frightened, unsure and wasted. Here are some really helpful resources to use when thinking about today’s event and how to talk with your kid about it:
http://www.pbs.org/parents/talkingwithkids/news/talking.html and http://www.nasponline.org/resources/crisis_safety/talkingviolence.pdf
Be good to yourself today – turn off the news and be with your kids. Show them they are safe. Love to all of you!”
When we talked, my daughter stated that the second link…the pdf…is more on point. She shared that the first link also included some brief reference to violent weather events as well.
So, let’s give our kids and grandchildren hugs and some quality time. Let’s lift a prayer for those grieving in Conneccticut. Let’s remember John Donne’s (1572-1631) words:
No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thine own
Or of thine friend’s were.
Each man’s death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee.
Hey Dad! – I think I was confusing on the phone – the PBS link is really helpful for all kinds of community tragedies. The second link -from NASP – is especially helpful for a violent act like the one in CT, and has the bonus of identifying developmentally how you might address what school-age kids are feeling. Sorry!
I think I’ve made a small edit that takes care of the error.