The saddest Friday…

The news since this morning haven’t been good, and they’re only getting worse.  Anyone watching CNN, or MSNBC, or any other news outlet, knows what happened in Newtown, CT.  Aside from feeling sick and horrified, I’ve been trying to figure out why these things happen…

And then…

Did you know that the shooter, now identified as Adam Lanza, has been described by his brother, Ryan, as “autistic, has Asperger’s and some ‘personality disorder’.”  This has become a headline in some sites, and the comments about the “autism” part of it have started to flow.

While I get the feeling (because I’ve been trying to figure out ALL DAY why this happened, why this person did this) that there is an underlying severe mental issue involved, I fear that people who choose to go with the headline will cling to the “autism” angle of it.  I’ve read three diatribes about meds, one saying that “they need to be in special schools away from normal people,” and an argument about how he could have bought these weapons if he was autistic.

This is what we know:

The weapons were registered to his mother.

He had some sort of dispute with his mother.

He didn’t have a close relationship with the brother who has identified him as “autistic;” they had not seen each other in two years.

Twenty children and six adults, aside from the shooter, are DEAD.  They’re never coming back.  Their families will never see them again.

I can only guess at this, but I believe this family (divorced parents, supposedly developmentally disabled son) went through hell and high water many times before they got to this point.  I am not justifying what happened today.  I don’t understand it, nor do I think I ever will.  I am imagining Mrs. Lanza, facing her child, and knowing it was all over.  Why did she buy weapons?  Why did she buy weapons of such high caliber?  I don’t know.  Perhaps she bought them for him?  Perhaps he wanted them and she acquiesced?  Perhaps she was trained to use them and had a gun hobby?  I don’t know…

What will emerge from this will be nothing more than a 5000 jigsaw puzzle that will form a picture in the way that jigsaw puzzles do: there will be spaces that, in spite of the pieces fitting perfectly, will somehow alter the final image.  We will look at the whole image, then look at the lid on the box, then look back at the difference between the lid’s size and the puzzle we’ve completed.  We’ll notice details we didn’t see on the lid, and be disappointed by the lack of definition on the finished product.

All I know right now is that twenty kids are dead.  Six adults, other than the shooter, won’t make it home for the holidays this year.  I just couldn’t turn on our Christmas lights, and our Second Day of Christmas (iPad and all) was subdued.

I leave you with Mother Teresa: if we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.

I need to go hug my kids, and cry a little…


2 thoughts on “The saddest Friday…

  1. I have been so moved by your words. The puzzle analogy is perfect. I too thought of his mother as she looked at her son and understood what was happening. No-one does something like this without being in pain mentally, but their struggles are often ignored and harshly judged. Mother Teresa’s words are perfect, and even the shooter was a child once, and belonged to us all. Our society needs to ask, (apart from gun laws), how did he get to this point? I don’t want to seem as if I am defending him but we aren’t we all human?

    • This is a tragedy on many levels. I don’t justify his actions, but something, somewhere broke and from there on end, sadly, this moment was brewing. That is why, even though it happened somewhere else, to other people, we all feel it. I know I have tried my best to make my children whole, to instill in them every goodness that I can, but…we never really know for sure. Each and every person that faced this young man today had a moment of horrifying clarity, even on so simple a level as “I want my mom.”

      I didn’t know any of these families, but through them I have seen realized every worst fear…the fear of losing a child, the fear of violence seeping into my small and imperfect world, the fear of having a child that will inflict such pain on so many…

      I don’t know what else to say other than this is a tragedy across the board; at one point or another, this kid lost something and we will never really know if it was his sanity, his ability to hope, his faith, the support of his family, his humanity…but he lost something. When he lost, we all ended up losing.

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