Monday, December 17, 2012

Funerals Begin In Newtown CT For Teachers/Students

Later today - funeral services for the six and seven year old students and the teachers who tried to save them in Newtown, Connecticut begin. It's been a long and sad weekend for most Americans, but our suffering is nothing compared to the pain facing the parents of those murdered kids and the teachers who gave their lives to save them.

From what I know, the small community of Newtown only has one funeral home. If that turns out to be the case, it could be a week to 10 days before all of the murdered children and teachers are laid to rest. How will these families' begin to put their lives back together again after such a terrible tragedy? I don't know the answer that question. However, there will be friends and family standing by to offer whatever help is needed.

I watched a television program over the weekend where a father of one of the child victims offered his sympathy to the family of the shooter. The compassion of that one man brought me to tears. Even through his anger and deep despair he was able to separate the difference between a mentally ill 20 year old murderer and his family who will never be the same - because of the actions of one of their members.

Mental health professionals often talk about the need to forgive as the first step toward regaining control over one's life. Without forgiveness, victims tend to drift into a dark hole of depression and self destructive behavior. While it is easy for me to logically state the positive benefits of forgiveness, in reality it could take decades or even never for some of these parents to reach that point in life.

Soon the shock of what happened in Newtown, Connecticut on Friday will turn to anger. It is during the anger phase of grieving when the souls of these parents and the spouses of the teachers will be potentially the most self destructive. Some of these folks will recover and spend the rest of their life sad, but okay. Others will never recover and will eventually pass from this earth still suffering from depression and anger. May God grant all of them peace.

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