Monday, December 17, 2012



I think most of us are still in shock over what happened in Newtown, CT on Friday. I'm having trouble thinking of an appropriate post about children's books, and so I'll leave you with a few posts relating to the tragedy that I found helpful/moving/informative.

"Dealing With Grief: Five Things NOT to Say and Five Things to Say In a Trauma Invovling Children"
This post is by a reverend and is Christianity-based, but people of all faiths or non-faiths will find this helpful, I think, especially since most of the things TO say are not necessarily based in religion--they're based in kindness and support.

"I am Adam Lanza's Mother: It's time to talk about mental illness"
A powerful, frightening, and heartbreaking essay by a mother dealing with a child dealing with mental illness.
No one wants to send a 13-year old genius who loves Harry Potter and his snuggle animal collection to jail. But our society, with its stigma on mental illness and its broken healthcare system, does not provide us with other options. Then another tortured soul shoots up a fast food restaurant. A mall. A kindergarten classroom. And we wring our hands and say, “Something must be done.”
I agree that something must be done. It’s time for a meaningful, nation-wide conversation about mental health. That’s the only way our nation can ever truly heal.
Saturday Night Live's Cold Open:

This is off topic, but I think now is a good time to be reminded that there is a lot of good in the world. Here are "26 Moments That Restored Our Faith in Humanity This Year". I found the love story of Taylor and Danielle to be especially moving.

My thoughts are with the families and community of Newtown, and with those who have lost loved ones.

Wishing everyone peace and joy this holiday season. Stay safe.

1 comment:

Libby Koponen said...

Thanks for this post, Alvina. It was brave to say something! Words feel and are inadequate.

I don't have anything wise to say but want to express my feelings: thanks for breaking the ice! I found the 5 things NOT to say and to say very useful--a minister on NPR over the weekend talked about that, too, and I found it reassuring. (he talked about how "God talk" was really unhelpful, and that often the best thing to do is say nothing - just BE with the person.)

Like many other people (and everyone I have talked to here in CT), I have spent most of the weekend thinking of those who died, their families, their community.

There was a school shooting in Scotland in 1996; Parliament passed a law banning all hand guns. There hasn't been a school shooting since. The United States as a nation has more guns per capita than any country but Somalia!

I know gun control alone won't stop these killings, but neither will any one thing (including better mental health, school security,etc.) We are a violent nation with a lot of angry people, a lot of mentally ill people, and (I believe, not everyone DOES believe in evil, I know) some evil people.

But also a nation with some heroic people -- like the principal and teachers and school psychologist who died trying to stop the killer; the woman in the office who had the presence of mind to turn on the Intercom to alert people; the secretary who hid kids in a closet, gave them crayons and paper, told them to be very quiet, and kept the door barricaded the door with a filing cabinet; the janitor who ran through the hallways, shouting warnings.

We have heroic people, we have good people, we have generous people....maybe we can come together to do things that will prevent more killing.

In the meantime, my thoughts, too, are with all who have lost those they love - and with the victims. And with the things that make life worth living, and wondering what can make children's lives better, safer....