No words

Yesterday Norm and Tess Wright’s annual newsletter arrived. Norm is a Christian counselor, author of Experiencing Grief and Recovering from Losses in Your Life among many books. They wrote, “Norm’s ministry is the same working with those in grief and trauma. Part of his ministry this year was in Denver with those impacted by the shooting in Aurora. . .” (Emphasis added)

Less than two hours later I received an email from a childhood friend: “Dear Jessica, Just saw on New Zealand TV about the dreadful shooting of 20 little children and 10 adults, my prayers and thoughts are with all Americans with this horrific crime.”

That was the first I knew of this new trauma. I thought of Norm and wondered if he will be heading to Newtown, Connecticut next.

That afternoon I talked to an elderly woman whose granddaughter, many years ago, had to be told at the age of six that her little brother had died. They said something like, “God took him to heaven.”

“I want him back,” the girl told her mother firmly. “I had him first.”

She could never stand to be alone after that.

I waited until today to text my daughter in the midwest, to be sure I would not be the one breaking the news to her. “Hadn’t yet heard the news when we talked yesterday,” I wrote. “Does K know? How r u both taking it – and the other kids n parents at her school?”

My daughter texted back just what I had feared: “I don’t know what you are talking about.”

I knew I had aroused alarm in her, maybe even panic. All I could think to text back was, “Connecticut. Not K’s school.” The terrible identification with those parents and those children will come soon enough. Our youngest granddaughter, “K,” is only one year older than many of the victims.


About Jessica Renshaw
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