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Have you heard about the school shooting in Conn.

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Thea replied on Sun, Dec 16 2012 7:39 AM

I read this from Rick Crompton on facebook this morning and thought it might help someone here:  It help me to read it this morning!

Here are 5 things you should NEVER say at a time like this and five things that could be helpful. From Rev. Emily C. heath in the Huffington Post:

We often have no idea what to say in the face of senseless loss. That is especially true when children are the victims of tragedy. Today's shooting in Connecticut is heart

breaking in so many ways, not the least of which is the staggering loss of children.

My first two years in ministry were spent as a chaplain assigned to the emergency department of a children's hospital with a level one trauma center. During that ministry I saw so many senseless tragedies. I also heard some of the worst theology of my life coming from people who thought they were bringing comfort to the parents. More often than not, they weren't. And often, they made the situation worse.

Here are five things not to say to grieving family and friends:

1. "God just needed another angel."

Portraying God as someone who arbitrarily kills kids to fill celestial openings is neither faithful to God, nor helpful to grieving parents.

2. "Thank goodness you have other children," or, "You're young. You can have more kids."

Children are not interchangeable or replaceable. The loss of a child will always be a loss, no matter how many other children a parent has or will have.

3. He/she was just on loan to you from God.

The message is that God is so capricious that God will break parents' hearts at will just because God can. It also communicates to parents and loved ones that they are not really entitled to their grief.

4. God doesn't give you more than you can handle.

Actually, some people do get a lot more than any one person should ever have to handle. And it doesn't come from God. Don't trivialize someone's grief with a "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger" mentality.

5. We may not understand it, but this was God's will.

Unless you are God, don't use this line.

And here are five things to say:

1. I don't believe God wanted this or willed it.

A grieving friend or family member is likely hearing that this is God's will from a number of other people. Affirm the idea that it may very well not be.

2. It's okay to be angry, and I'm a safe person for you express that anger to if you need it.

Anger is an essential part of the grieving process, but many don't know where to talk about it because they are often silenced by others when they express their feelings. (For instance, they may be told they have no right to be angry at God.) By saying you are a safe person to share all feelings, including anger, with, you help the grieving person know where they can turn.

3. It's not okay.

It seems so obvious, but sometimes this doesn't get said. Sometimes the pieces don't fit. Sometimes nothing works out right. And sometimes there is no way to fix it. Naming it can be helpful for some because it lets them know you won't sugarcoat their grief.

4. I don't know why this happened.

When trauma happens, the shock and emotion comes first. But not long after comes our human need to try to explain "why?" The reality is that often we cannot. The grieving person will likely have heard a lot of theories about why a trauma occurred. Sometimes it's best not to add to the chorus, but to just acknowledge what you do not know.

5. I can't imagine what you are going through, but I am here to support you in whatever way feels best.

Even if you have faced a similar loss, remember that each loss is different. Saying "I know how you're feeling" is often untrue. Instead, ask how the grieving person is feeling. And then ask what you can do to help. Then, do it and respect the boundaries around what they don't want help with at this point. You will be putting some control back into the hands of the grieving person, who often feels like they have lost so much of it.

 

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Jeanine replied on Sun, Dec 16 2012 8:30 AM

Do not judge the bereaved mother. She comes in many forms. She is breathing, but she is dying. She may look young, but inside she has become ancient. She smiles, but her heart sobs. She walks, she talks, she cooks, she cleans, she works, she IS, but she IS NOT, all at once. She is here, but part of her is elsewhere for eternity.

author Unknown

 

those poor parents...I thought this was a powerful piece of art.

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Debbie replied on Sun, Dec 16 2012 9:10 AM

Thea - just read your post and tears stream down.  You are so right and THANK YOU for insight on what to say and what not to say.  It's never God's will when tragedy happens, that I do believe.  It is man's choice and God was there to save 70 people because if 100 shots were fired, 70 lived. 

"I'm just a poor soul who's intentions are good.   Oh, Lord, Please don't let me be misunderstood."

Debbie (dear1953)  

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Barbara replied on Sun, Dec 16 2012 10:24 AM

Jeanine This is beautiful , A very wonderful tribute to these grieving  Mothers.. Thank you for sharing this .Barbara

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Ginny replied on Sun, Dec 16 2012 12:26 PM

Jeanine,  that is so perfect and the words so powerful.  The statue makes me want to cry.   Ginny

 

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Kinsey replied on Sun, Dec 16 2012 8:55 PM

LaJuan Sukochi Lee:

Do you think home schooling will keep your kids safe? Sure, if you lock them in the house and never allow them out. If we stop living our lives as always, and are afraid to go any where, THEY win. WE lose.

Do not instill  fear in  your children. If you tell them that you will cotinue to home school because this happened, THEY will not feel safe, anywhere. You don't want that to happen.

Absolutely not, I homeschool because I feel it's a better education. I have a younger child with "special needs" and no school has passed my quality test as of yet. My children are all several grade levels above what they would be in school with the one on one learning. Plus we do park dates and other activities (including field trips, prom, graduation and so on) with a number of homeschool groups that we belong to.

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Kinsey replied on Sun, Dec 16 2012 9:00 PM

Nana:

Sukochi

It is true that we don't want to instill fear in our children.  I have always been somewhat against homeschooling as I felt children needed to learn to deal with all the different outlooks and cultures that they see in public schools.   However the more often these school shootings occur and now that elementary schools aren't even safe,  I would probably be homeschooling my children if they were still school age.    I am so glad that I don't have to try to raise children in our society now.  It is just tough no matter what decision you make.

The fun part is that I can teach all the cultures (and do). My children get more history and more hands on culture from around the world than they'd ever be able to in a school environment.  As long as core curriculum is there, I can add on whatever else I feel my children need to be properly educated and can do it without leaving out bits and pieces as schools do on some topics.

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Nana replied on Mon, Dec 17 2012 10:33 AM

Kinsey

That is very true.  As I say I have become more and more accepting of homeschooling.  I have seen many children that have been homeschooled that have a much better overall education than most have in our public schools.   I think that I am just a little resistant to change....LOL>

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Kinsey replied on Mon, Dec 17 2012 12:02 PM

I agree Nana. It was a huge choice for me. My older 3 (14 months apart) started in private schools. When they were in 1st, 2nd and 3rd...I took that entire school year to determine what to do. I was appalled that some basic things...my kids didn't know what they were. They were being taught "sight words" instead of sounds and sounding out...and so on.

 

That entire year I went back and forth with myself. Perhaps if we lived in a different state. I know education varies greatly from state to state and I don't lie to myself. Arizona has some of the worst schools in the US :(

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Nana replied on Mon, Dec 17 2012 6:26 PM

Kinsey

They don't teach phonetics in the schools here either.  And I understand from a woman that homeschools her children that the state is planning to take history out of the schools and focus on science and math.  How sad.

Vinton, Virginia

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I saw this poem this past weekend and wanted to share.  It makes me cry every time I read it, but the last line leaves me with chills...even when I'm just recalling it and not reading it...

 

twas' 11 days before Christmas, around 9:38
when 20 beautiful children stormed through heaven's gate.
their smiles were contagious, their laughter filled the air.
they could hardly believe all the beauty they saw there.
they were filled with such joy, they didn't know what to say.
they remembered nothing of what had happened earlier that day.

"where are we?" asked a little girl, as quiet as a mouse.
"this is heaven." declared a small boy. "we're spending Christmas at God's house."
when what to their wondering eyes did appear,
but Jesus, their savior, the children gathered near.
He looked at them and smiled, and they smiled just the same.
then He opened His arms and He called them by name.
and in that moment was joy, that only heaven can bring
those children all flew into the arms of their King
and as they lingered in the warmth of His embrace,
one small girl turned and looked at Jesus' face.
and as if He could read all the questions she had
He gently whispered to her, "I'll take care of mom and dad."
then He looked down on earth, the world far below
He saw all of the hurt, the sorrow, and woe
then He closed His eyes and He outstretched His hand,
"Let My power and presence re-enter this land!"
"may this country be delivered from the hands of fools"
"I'm taking back my nation. I'm taking back my schools!"
then He and the children stood up without a sound.
"come now my children, let me show you around."
excitement filled the space, some skipped and some ran.
all displaying enthusiasm that only a small child can.
and i heard Him proclaim as He walked out of sight,
"in the midst of this darkness, I AM STILL THE LIGHT."

~Cameo Smith

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Nana:

Kinsey

They don't teach phonetics in the schools here either.  And I understand from a woman that homeschools her children that the state is planning to take history out of the schools and focus on science and math.  How sad.

Nana - I have taught my son how to read with phonics, and when he got into school, the teacher remarked that he sounds everything out.  I looked at her puzzled because...well, yeah?  It's normal to me because that is how I was taught to read.  Apparently they teach them some other way (which I am still not clear on).  I still teach phonics to my son because it worked for me and I have a passion for reading (of course, when the time allows for it).

Oh how sad it would be if they took history out of school.  

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Barbara replied on Tue, Dec 18 2012 7:38 AM

Bandy this is beauitful ,I cired as I read it . thank you for sharing with us. Barbara

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Ginny replied on Tue, Dec 18 2012 7:40 AM

Oh Brandy , that is such a beautiful poem.  I don't know where you found it, but the person that wrote it is able to see the light in our darkness and share it with the world.   Thank you.       Ginny

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Marie replied on Tue, Dec 18 2012 8:05 AM

Brandy, that is beautiful, thanks for sharing.

Millbury, MA

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