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A friend of mine lost a child on Friday to a self-centered monster who, despite whatever issues he had, felt the need to lash out at the world.

I know there will be a lot of hand wringing over how this person should have been handled, how his mental problems lead to this, or how his mother should have been more careful than to have guns that no sane person should have available in their home, no matter what your politics. Personally, it's tough for me to give any level of sympathy to someone who would calculate such an unGodly event, particularly given our connection to this.

My friend lost a beautiful child. Having two of my own, the anguish they are feeling I can only imagine and I feel enormously lucky myself. I even feel a little uneasy for feeling so lucky in contrast to how I feel about their loss. Yet, I always worry a little between the time my children go to daycare and grammar school before I see them at the end of the day when I get home.

What's most important here today is not all the talk of gun control, the killer's mental issues, or how the media absolutely cannot leave this event alone for one minute so people can mourn. The only takeaway is that as parents, these children are our lives, ad these children - theirs and all the others - should be the only ones we think about right now. They are our hope, our joy, the thing that keeps us grounded and the essence of our purpose on this world once we hear their cries. While the death of any person is a sad event, given our need to protect these little people, most of whom are still ignorant of the evils of the world, this loss is unthinkable. Today we should know their names, not his.

When we protect our kids, we protect our best projection of ourselves.

God bless my friend, the family and those other families in their community.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Amen (8+ / 0-)


    "Compassion is not weakness, and concern for the unfortunate is not socialism." Hubert H. Humphrey

    by Onomastic on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 06:35:32 AM PST

  •  We see our children with new eyes today (6+ / 0-)

    and our eyes are moist.

    If cats could blog, they wouldn't

    by crystal eyes on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 06:39:02 AM PST

  •  asdf (6+ / 0-)
    What's most important here today is not all the talk of gun control
    While being profoundly sympathetic to yourself and anyone in your friends truly awful position this will have to be discussed one day.
  •  If you ever learn of some way (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Onomastic, historys mysteries, TomP

    that we can bring any small comfort to this grieving family, please let us know.   Standing in silent witness to their pain is about all one can do from afar right now.  Perhaps later there will be something to do, some need to fill, or some concrete way to show our solidarity.

    It's the Supreme Court, stupid!

    by Radiowalla on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 06:45:47 AM PST

  •  I hear the pain in your words, and yet (4+ / 0-)

    I don't think it's the kind of thing that can be scheduled or controlled: the idea that we should not talk about mental illness today, nor about gun control today, nor about their intersectionality.  

  •  Grief is ultimately (5+ / 0-)

    a very lonely thing.  And while I don't know what it's like to lose a child to gun homicide, my mother does.  You can't, unfortunately, expect the rest of the world to abide by your emotional needs or feelings.  While I by no means expect the families who lost members to participate, the rest of the nation will be talking about the incident in the ways that are meaningful to them.  I understand this and it's normal.

    Justice For Will Will spent his brief, courageous life fighting for the rights we all take for granted. Please share his story to support the fight!

    by KibbutzAmiad on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 07:13:08 AM PST

    •  That's not what I'm saying here... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Onomastic, FiredUpInCA

      Look. The news is making turning this into a circus. That still doesn't negate the fact that our friends - in the midst of having to deal with the unthinkable - need to find their child as a pawn in a ratings game.

      And that's what it is.

      There is no reason - for A DAY - that there be some focus on the victims in lieu of nothing but discussion on gun control, mental illness, etc.

      There's more than enough time for all that.

      When this kind of event is personal, it's different. Yet, it should be personal for everyone, even just for one minute, for God's sake.

      "It doesn't matter whether you win or lose. It's how you ladle the gravy." - Felix Ungar

      by Verbalpaintball on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 07:25:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Amen (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        There is no reason - for A DAY - that there be some focus on the victims in lieu of nothing but discussion on gun control, mental illness, etc.

        There's more than enough time for all that.

        When this kind of event is personal, it's different. Yet, it should be personal for everyone, even just for one minute, for God's sake.

        I just made a similar argument in another diary and got a response that I don't understand.

        I said:

        First off, it borders on cruel to not allow a moment for survivors to grieve their loved ones before their deaths are subjected to the callous arena of public debate.
        And the response was:
        The "let them grieve first"argument is just stupid. These families will be grieving for years, if not for the rest of their lives. What is the appropriate time to LET them grieve before we start the discussion?

        It really doesn't matter if the weapons were precisely identified. We still need to have a discussion about easy access to guns and the NRA's aversion to sane gun control laws.

        I do not see why is it "stupid" for the parents who have just had their children killed in an unimaginably horrible way to be allowed a moment to grieve before their deaths are the subject the culture wars.

        I just do not understand this argument.

        We thought it was bizarre for Romney to politicize the deaths of diplomats in Benghazi while their survivors were still grieving. We find it strange that the Westboro church politicizes deaths while the families are grieving.

        But somehow we believe that the perennially intransigent problem of gun safety, must be addressed politically within 24 hours of a massacre, otherwise we'll lose the crucial momentum to undo 200 years of gun culture.

        The choice of our lifetime: Mitt Romney, It Takes A Pillage or President Barack Obama, Forward Together.

        by FiredUpInCA on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 08:00:51 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •   What should also be normal is expecting the (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FiredUpInCA, Neuroptimalian

      readers of this diary to take the time to understand what is being said and honor the writer's wishes in his own diary.

      That would be the compassionate, respectful thing to do.

      God knows there are other places, other posts to discuss mental health and gun control issues, not here, not in this cry from the heart.

      Here is where the children and their families are being remembered. Here is where comfort and support are needed.

      "Compassion is not weakness, and concern for the unfortunate is not socialism." Hubert H. Humphrey

      by Onomastic on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 07:52:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Learning that the mother was one of those nutjobs (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TomP, FiredUpInCA, PinHole

    who believed the world would end on Dec. 21st, and was preparing for it, brings a little more information to the table about the killer's "motive", as does the news that his mother constantly pushed him extremely hard and that the son's demeanor grew worse after his parent's divorce.  And today it comes out that the killer posted an announcement on Wednesday at 4Chan that he was going to kill himself on Friday in such a spectacular way that it would make the news.

    There doesn't seem to be any way to fully protect ourselves from the crazies that live amongst us.  If they're determined, they'll find a way.

    I feel tremendous sorrow for the families of the victims, but also some sadness for the killer's brother and father who will be forced to live with their association to their monster family member for the rest of their lives.

    "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity, and I am not sure about the universe." -- Albert Einstein

    by Neuroptimalian on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 07:25:08 AM PST

  •  my suggestion... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Onomastic, PinHole, mamamorgaine

    take a step back... turn off the tv.  Hug your kids and spend time having fun with them.. without feeling guilty that you can still smile and have that fun.

    I know exactly how you are feeling... I know exactly where you are coming from.  For me, time has passed long enough to not let the babble going on not affect me as it is you.

    I recognize and respect your feelings entirely.  And I can only suggest you just pull back from here or reading anywhere on line or listening to any media however the conveyance.

    Peace to you and yours.

    All the suffering of this world arises from a wrong attitude.The world is neither good or bad. It is only the relation to our ego that makes it seem the one or the other - Lama Anagorika Govinda

    by kishik on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 07:29:15 AM PST

  •  I'm so sorry. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Deeply sorry, and I wish no one on the planet had to go through this.
    Part of grief is anger, and many if not most of us here are angry that this happens over and over. You mention lacking sympathy for the killer; frankly you are first person I have seen anywhere to entertain that question, much less express that sympathy.

    Stay fired up: now is the time to focus on downticket change! #Forward

    by emidesu on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 07:37:52 AM PST

  •  Thank you for being their shield and protector (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Onomastic, Neuroptimalian

    I understand that the State Police are providing some protection to ensure the families' privacy to grieve. I am sure that friends like you are also crucial, whether helping keep physical barriers around their houses, providing meals so people don't have to go out to the grocery store, or being "spokesman for the __ family."

    When the Challenger blew up in 1986, one of Steve McAuliffe's law partners immediately stepped into that role. It was a huge gift that allowed Steve and his children to issue a formal public statement while remaining out of sight and protected.

    Bless you for being there in their (and our) grieving, on behalf of all of us who are too far removed but holding the families in our hearts and prayers.

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