You don't know me and I don't know you. But I am thinking about you every day, ever since Friday, that day that will forever be a "before and after" date in your lives. I cried at my desk at work as I saw the news stories. I prayed. I emailed my daughter's principal to tell him I don't think our school is safe enough. I superstitiously counted down the minutes until I knew my husband had picked up my precious girl from school. I'm sorry for interjecting myself and my fear into this, but it is wound up like a coil of braided rope with your story, your loss, your unimaginable pain.
It is tempting to say that I can't imagine what you are going through. But it is the truth, instead, that I can. Every thing in your house will be reminding you of what you have lost. You will go to sleep at night -- I hope you are able to get at least some sleep -- with a pit in your stomach and wake up feeling the same way. You will be numb, then crying, then angry or perhaps just numb and trying to care for other family members and shoving everything down deep inside. You will have to be making choices and decisions you never, ever thought you would have to make about your beautiful child's funeral. And you almost certainly have a hidden stash of presents whose intended recipient will never receive them.
I wish that my words, my prayers, the moments of silence at my work meeting this morning, and at our church service yesterday could actually do something, anything to ease your pain.
While I'm sure whatever part of you is functioning is somewhat aware of the outreach of the nation and the world, it's possible you are not. That your computers and phones are off. That you are putting one foot in front of the other.
All I can think of is to list the names of those lost and end with the most heartfelt and inadequate of phrases, "I am so very sorry for your incalculable loss."
This day, we remember:
Olivia Rose Engel
Ana Grace Marquez-Greene
Madeleine F Hsu
Catherine V Hubbard
Anne Marie Murphy
Allison N Wyatt
~ Laura D.