In the aftermath of last week’s tragedy at Sandy Hook School, I struggled a little about what to write Sunday night. There are movements around the blogosphere for days of silence and tributes to teachers and heartfelt ideas about the appropriate ways to honor the victims of the shooting and their families.
I don’t know much about the appropriate way to respond to what happened last week, because despite learning more about it each day it’s still unfathomable. My head won’t wrap around it, and when I try to force my thoughts into a logical row, tears fall.
I hide them from my children who are too young to be aware of the events that brought down the world of so many Connecticut families Friday. I wonder how to push aside my fear and not let this event loom over each of my thoughts.
Joss Whedon says: “I write to give myself strength …I write to explore all the things I’m afraid of.” And in reading those words, I came to terms with the idea that there is no right way to manage our way through something like this. There isn’t a set of instructions to piece together the shattered lives in Newtown. There is no single way to honor the loss of life.
Each of us need to process this loss in a way that feels authentic to us. Sometimes? Writers just write.
Our words might tumble into an emotional blog post. We might fall into a new character and go on a tear towards an unknown conclusion. Some writers wander back to a project fallen into dormancy, needing the comfort of a familiar world. We might scribble on paper and tuck it away, needing to keep some things between us and whatever it is we pray to when we’re watching the clock instead of falling asleep.
My thoughts are with the families in Newtown, their entire community and our whole nation as we take steps to move forward, forever changed.
Do you agree with Joss Whedon? Does writing help give you strength during difficult times?