It seems more and more that I am compelled to write when I am confronting death in some way. In November it was dealing with the sudden and unexpected passing of my good friend and former college mate. Today it has been in dealing with the horrific shooting deaths of 28 souls in Newtown, Connecticut at Sandy Hook Elementary School, 20 of them children.
There are no words of consolation for a parent who sends a child to school in the morning and who receives a chilling call hours later that something has happened. Even if that parent was lucky to find that his or her child survived the ordeal, the fallout - the loss of innocence and trust of that youngster - can never be recovered. Worst than that would be to deal with knowing your precious little one was taken from you, never to be seen again. Those little eyes that peered into your soul, those little hands that reached for you, that little voice that made you sigh - all gone in a flash of the muzzle from a gun!
Anyone who knows me knows full well how much I love children and how I can never countenance their being taken advantage of or abused in any way. This reprehensible action on the part of a loathsome coward can never be justified. I don't care if he brandished his weapons to give himself a better self-image or to improve his low self-esteem, if he was mentally ill or if he felt taking the lives of these young victims would somehow make the killing of his mother even more grim. He was a little man whose life will now be linked with that of a madman and I will not darken the words I have posted here with his own name. He shall remain nameless and as anonymous as the slugs being removed from the bodies of his victims. Their memory shall be exalted and his shall fall on the scrap heap of history, never to be acknowledged, lest it serve as an example to other idiots that his is a way to achieve lasting fame.
I have the most sympathy for the classmates of the victims and the parents and grandparents who now have to deal with the unfathomable. My words ring hollow as the depths of their despair shall know no bounds for some time to come. The actions of this callow fellow shall forever impact the lives of brothers, sisters, cousins, aunts and uncles too. How can anyone do such a thing to innocents? Only an unthinking, unfeeling and self-centered sociopath could ever do such an act, let alone scores of others.
The next few days shall be full of remorse and grief as the media retells the stories of the brave teachers who paid the ultimate price protecting their young charges and the heartrending tales of the littlest victims of this monster. It will be hard to bear for any of us and I am certain the tears we shed shall not diminish for some time to come.
In America we elevate the memories of these kinds of events, ostensibly so that they will never be repeated. We have memorials in places where a federal building once stood, where a McDonald's restaurant was once opened and where twin towers fell. It will be difficult for the relatives of the victims of this tragedy to not call for the closure of Sandy Hook Elementary School and a memorial to be erected on site. This will, no doubt, be so they can have closure. The sad reality for this woeful day is they will never have closure. For that I am truly sorry.
How ironic this all takes place during the season when mankind expects the very best from one another. This should be a season of peace and good will, not a time of mourning and lamentations. This too has been stolen from us all by the actions of a craven and malevolent fiend. May the evil deeds of one depraved and dastardly lout be erased from our memories and may the souls he has taken from us and those affected by this horrible day be comforted and soothed one day. Unfortunately, this will take time and may never be achieved in my lifetime.