Learning not to Fear

December 15, 2012

in How to be a Housewife

Monday is my Little Man’s third birthday. I’ve had a post scheduled for 6 months. And I’ll still post it. But in light of the absolute tragedy that happened on Friday, I can’t just let it go light-heartedly out into the internet. Monday is his day. And on Monday, there will be no mention of Friday’s events. Nothing to dim the pure joy that will be the first birthday he’s truly understood and anticipated for weeks now.

But this weekend?

This weekend, the Big Man and I mourn for the children in Connecticut who will never celebrate another birthday. For the parents who have Christmas packages waiting under their trees that will never be unwrapped. For all the milestones and all the smiles that were yet to come. And for the children still alive, struggling to understand how someone could kill their friends, their siblings, their teachers in one of the few places in this world that we tell them is still safe.

I am not generally one to join in collective moments of mourning. So please forgive me if this does not feel like the appropriate venue to you. I write alone because talking with others only fuels the fire. Because I am filled with grief for a stranger’s child. I am filled with rage at another stranger, a stranger who not only killed 20 children, but forced them to die in terror. And I am filled with fear for my own children, and fear of our own strangers.

And I need to let it go.

How has our society come to this place? How is this a tragic, yet ultimately not-unforeseeable event given the trend towards suicide by mass shooting in the past few years? How have we gotten so far away from respecting the sanctity of life, and the rights of others to live it? Is it the media, and their obsession with filling a constant 24hr news cycle which has led to the de-facto glorification of tragedies on a national level? Is it video games and their desensitization of violence when played mindlessly for hours on end? Is it the plethora of crime shows? Is it the insanely easy, constitutional access to weapons? Is it that our habit of eating billions of dollars of processed foods so far removed from the natural food chain that we can treat a cow as no more than a piece of meat from the day it is born? Or is it simply that one man, for whatever insane reason, acted alone in the most demonic manner he could imagine?

I don’t know.

But I know that I can’t live with this fear. We have to go to the grocery store. The library. The mall. And, one day, to school. Because this is the only way I know to help – to not let this man, this terrorist, win.

And this is the last I will speak of him. Because he is not worthy of my thoughts, my emotions, my time.

What I will do is hug my children tight.

And do my best to teach them not to hate.

Nor to fear.

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