As many of you know, I live in Connecticut. During my work Christmas party yesterday afternoon, I learned of the tragic events of the morning at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT. I was busy working all morning and hurried off for a lunchtime run before my Christmas party. It's not that uncommon for me to wait to read the newspaper later at night and to not watch television until returning home. I typically play CDs in my car and therefore missed any reports on the radio too. So I was totally shocked and saddened to hear that a lone gunman had killed so many people, including 20 children under the age of 8.
Many people experience loss in their lives, but to lose a child is the hardest thing to deal with. You're not suppose to outlive your children. As I thought about the parents of these children, I couldn't help think about how my wife and I lost our son, Brian, who was born three months premature and died shortly after birth. No matter what the cause of death, the pain is excruciating, with very little relief, despite the efforts of family and friends to comfort. This is a fraternity that no one wishes to be part of, but so many are.
My advice, being a member of this fraternity, is to seek professional counseling, join a bereavement group, and try to honor your loved one is a special way. Twenty-four years have passed since my son's birth/death and events like this hit you in the gut. It took a long time for us to learn how to cope with things. However, we found comfort in being around others who had experienced the loss of a child at birth or shortly thereafter. Only they truly know what you're going through. That's why we went to bereavement meetings for a long time.
Let me finish this post by sending my love and condolences to all the families that lost loved ones in this terrible incident.