Finding no words

There are moments that the words don’t reach

There is suffering too terrible to name

You hold your child as tight as you can

Then try to push out the unimaginable.

– from “It’s Quiet Uptown” by Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton)

I’ve spent all day trying to find the right words, to take the feelings I’ve had since midday yesterday and turn them into coherent prose, angry expression or a well thought out blog. But the sinking feeling of “it happened again” has taken over and I can’t seem to find the words.

I’ll never forget the shock of Columbine – myself a high school junior and terrified and confused as to how something so awful could happen to my peers just a few states away. Then another and another until “school shooting” became a recognized phrase, and the numbers on the charts became statistics beyond measure. All senseless, all tragic. The stories of Sandy Hook still bring me to tears, and the terror in the live videos from Florida yesterday shook me to my core. Children. Children in a place of learning, a place where they formulate their hopes and dreams, envision their futures and spend their days traversing the innocence of childhood. Gone.

It took every fiber of my being to let go of the snuggles with my sweet girls last night and muster the strength to drop them off at school this morning. And when they got home, the strength returned in the form of a prolonged hug and a silent gratitude. Today they were safe.

Though I seem to have momentarily found these words, I’m simultaneously speechless and downright angry because this continued tragedy is truly unimaginable.


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