The ability to hear my mother’s voice over the phone the other morning brought me to tears. It was at that moment that I felt the tragedy lingering throughout the nation over the last few days. My heart dropped for all of the families that suddenly became broken.
More so, at that time I became upset over the effect the Sandy Hook shooting has had on our society as a whole. Once again, we have another reason to suffer from something one of our own has done, to question the actions or inactions of the government; another reason to point fingers, and another reason to become even more divided when we should put differences aside and come together. Once again, mourning has subsided and outrage has ensued and gotten the better of us – all of us except for the families who could give a shit less about anything but the fact that they can no longer kiss their child goodnight.
This holiday, many of us will put all obligations aside and enjoy time spent with our families, unwrapping gifts we don’t need and consuming calories we’ll feel guilty for later, all the while forgetting negative thoughts. But as we’re enjoying ourselves, other families will have presents that will remain unopened, and will avoid sitting at the dinner table so they won’t have to look at the empty chair symbolic of the emptiness they now feel in their hearts. This holiday, while our deepest thoughts will extend to happiness for presents we got, the only thing many families will be wishing for is to get their loved ones back.
Yes, we should enjoy ourselves this season, but we should not forget what others will be going through. We should remember it and eliminate the anger and feel empathetic and compelled enough to give back. Forget about pointing fingers, arguing about gun control on social networking sites, and do more than have an opinion. When you are moved by compassion over anger you can make a bigger difference. Hopeful thoughts and prayers are great measures of kindness, but taking action is some of the answer to your own prayer of finding relief for the families.
I’ve been to more funerals in the short 23 years that I have lived than I have weddings or baby showers put together. I’ve known families who have lost their sons, daughters, and friends of mine, and there’s been little worse than watching them deal with financial burdens in the wake of their child’s death. Organizing a funeral service, filing paper work, and putting a price on such an unspeakable tragedy seems like cruel and unneccesary punishment.
By writing this, my hope is to tug at heartstrings of those who were kind enough to share their concern for the families in Connecticut in the first place, enough to donate anything possible and make the financial messes of the families a bit easier. Here are some ways to help:
We can be an extraordinarily spoiled, all-consuming society, and our thought process is often clouded because of it. We forget that we have the power to be selfless. We can make a difference in someone’s life we never met. Don’t separate yourself from the situation. This holiday, take this opportunity to give back.