For most of you, life goes on--as well it should. There is, after all, a big holiday coming up with presents to wrap, dishes to cook, family to visit.
But those of us in Newtown falter between two extremes. We begin to pull our daily routines together again, but then we drive pass a hearse with a tiny coffin inside.
We get calls and emails from concerned friends--and even online stores where we placed Christmas orders. They've noticed where we live and ask with sadness, "Are you okay?"
Our address alone is infamous.
We can't drive through our teeny downtown area--because it is plastered with press and mourners coming to pay heartfelt respects. Signs everywhere read "We love Newtown" and "Keep Sandy Hook in your prayers."
And since my three little people still have no idea about what happened less than five miles away, this means we are staying home a lot. Waiting for time and distance to give some space before we have to address it--if we must.
I teeter between gratitude and grief:
I can't pretend that I'm not grateful my children were not in that school building--because I am.
Yet I can't pretend that I'm not heartbroken for the parents down the street and around the corner--because I am. Devestated for this town we've grown to love.
Those of you who read here know I usually write short posts--snippets from my own life with a takeaway you can hopefully apply to your own. That's not easy to do this week, which is why I've stayed away.
Right now I am, along with many in my community, living someplace in the "in-between"--a pendulum of emotions swinging wildly from one side to another.
Instead of fighting against them, I'm trying to follow their lead. To not demand "normal." To weep and ask the hard questions. Then to laugh, smile, make cookies, hug my babies tighter.
In the midst of grief, I'm grateful.
Desperately grateful that in a world turned upside down my family can cling to One born to bring life and hope to us all.
I can't pretend I'm not thankful that Christmas is around the corner--because I am.
"A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees! Oh, hear the angel voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born"
~ O Holy Night
"There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power.
They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues.
They are messengers of overwhelming grief...and unspeakable love."
~ Washington Irving