No sooner had I published last week’s blog on “How do we limit chaos?” than another, even greater, tragedy occurred across the country in Connecticut. As if to let me know that my presentation on the tragic death of two people at an Oregon shopping mall was totally inadequate, the horrendous deaths of 20 precious first-graders, and 7 teachers confronted our nation. This time the gun didn’t jam. Now what do I write? (By the way, I had no intention of writing a neat, tidy answer; chaos is chaos.)
Now families face funeral after funeral of their very young. For some in Newtown, grief will never end, or it seems that way. For others, they may become numb to the wave upon wave of intense, painful emotion others experience. We can’t imagine what it’s like for the parents and loved ones to have to say good-bye so soon to their dear little persons. Grateful for their protectors, family and friends must also say good-bye to them. Again the grief seems endless.
“Kids do tend to be resilient,” said Matthew Biel, M.D., chief of child and adolescent psychiatry at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital. Of course surviving kids need supportive families, along with return to their customary routines. The children will attempt to limit the chaos and master their emotions through play–including playing dead. Some may need professional treatment to limit the chaos.
On this Christmas let us also recall the innocent children brutally slaughtered by Herod the Great-and their grieving parents. Pray for God to provide comfort to grieving loved ones today in Newtown.
When you’ve experienced trauma, how did you limit the chaos? Did God play any role?