Sandy Hook Elementary Shooting: Why I Am Not Ready to Stop Being Sad


A couple hours after hearing about the unspeakably awful Sandy Hook massacre, I picked up the little boy I babysit from Pre-K. All the parents waited silently outside the school doors, tapping at their phones before being granted entrance. Then a fellow nanny walked up, glanced at the understandably rattled crowd, giggled, and said, "I just want to get back to my Christmas decorating and holiday cheer! Is that so wrong?"

As you can probably imagine, nobody responded. I would never fault someone for trying to be happy this time of year, and if anything, it's a good attitude to have in wake of such tragedy. I was certainly thrilled to learn that my brother and his wife welcomed their third child into the world this evening, and while dwelling on the negative inevitably brings everyone down and creates bad energy, this is not an incident we're going to move on from for a very long time, and those who have taken such a flippant approach to the shooting don't seem to realize how lucky they are to have been unaffected by this act of evil. The worst part is, they may not be so lucky someday. You can never be prepared for something this horrific, and that's why I count my blessings everyday. 

Up until today, the 1999 Columbine High School shooting was considered the second deadliest campus shooting in U.S. history, right behind the 2007 Virginia Tech killing spree. For more than 13 years, dozens of books and several movies have been released attempting to make sense of the unspeakable event that took place in an otherwise peaceful Colorado town. Beth Nimmo, whose daughter Rachel Scott died during the Columbine shooting more than a decade ago, appeared on Fox News today to assure viewers that we'll eventually be able to see the light at the end of this dark tunnel, adding, "there does come a day when you don't cry all day long." We have a long road ahead, and pretending otherwise is the same as sweeping major trauma under the rug. 

Some people cope by focusing on the bright side of life, and if that's what some of the victim's families would like to do, outsiders shouldn't judge them for it. That said, as much as I'd love to get back into Christmas mode, watch Home Alone and Elf on repeat, and play my favorite holiday songs on repeat, I'm not really in the mood to celebrate anything less than 24 hours after such an atrocious incident. Maybe I'll feel better next week and be more open to the idea of taking my mind off the ever-so-depressing news cycle, but the fact is 20 children are dead.

Tragedy strikes every day, but events like this are few and far between, so we have a right to fear and grieve over them. Even Obama couldn't keep it together today. You can tell me that "life goes on," but I'm sure the families of those murdered in the Sandy Hook shooting wouldn't be so thrilled to hear that kind of remark right now. The holiday season has been forever ruined for them. They'll live on all right, but never the same way again.