it’s difficult to concentrate today. my mind keeps returning to connecticut. to the children who won’t go to school today. to the children who will. to the parents who have unopened presents in their houses, presents meant for a son or a daughter that are now lying as a reminder of loss and not of delicious anticipation and joy.
i don’t know what to do with this sorrow and rage and sense of futility. maybe you don’t either.
perhaps we can honor these 20 children and seven adults by treasuring our families a little more this season. by reflecting on what we have and not what we don’t. by reviewing our priorities and making subtle shifts to ensure not 100% balance, but mindful selections of how we use our limited time and resources.
we all know the time will come when we’ll slip back to routine. media will turn away from this episode. we will revert to our normal patterns. we will forget that one very disturbed, untreated man and his family were left to flounder because our mental health system does not catch all. and how this problem, seemingly just one family’s, became many families’ problem, and then a nation’s.
before that time comes, i will use this period of high motivation to take action, as well as to hug my children and swallow my fear as i send them to school. i will get educated about our dialogue on gun control and gun policy. i will write letters to elected politicians about what i want to see happen. i will give money to support my opinions. and i will keep on doing so to confirm my continued interest in change and to support the political discussion we may stray from if our attention wanders.
these actions feel so small compared to the size of the loss. but if we all channel our sadness? our collective small is huge.
here are some organizations you can support or use to send your message. i’m happy to post more if you have one you’d like to recommend.
- mayors against illegal guns
- brady campaign to prevent gun violence
- we are better than this (send condolences to sandy hook via brady campaign)
- white house petitions (start or sign one)
- change.org (start or sign a petition)
- write your representative (about gun violence and mental health benefits)
- support for sandy hook families
a few readers wrote to say i’d neglected steps for voicing support for greater funding of mental health benefits. they were right. i’ve added some informational links below and recommend you use the link above to write your representative.
- 7 facts about america’s mental health-care system
- mental health expenditures by state
- parity for behavioral health coverage delayed by lack of federal rules