What can you say when there are no words?
We are all still reeling in the aftermath of the school shootings in Connecticut last Friday. I, for one, feel leveled and heartbroken. It is impossible to imagine the impact on the families who lost children, those whose children were spared but so profoundly traumatized, and the rest of us who bear witness from afar to the unthinkable.
Here, in the interest of offering at least a few words of comfort, is some guidance on how to talk to your children in the wake of this tragedy.
The holidays are a festive — and often frantic — time of year, with family and friends gathering together. The setting for all these celebrations takes place in our homes, where creating comfort for our guests is the primary focus.
As autumn days get colder, we move our gatherings inside, to the coziness and comfort of enclosed spaces. The warmth in our homes comes from more than crackling fireplaces and steaming cups of tea. It comes from the people we surround ourselves with and bring into our vacant spaces. The genial sounds of wet boots squeaking on tile and the shuffle of jackets being hung to dry. Hugs and handshakes exchanged, smiles rising between rosy red cheeks.
Despite a diet of organic, holistic dog food. Despite a pesticide-free yard. Despite daily exercise and plenty of TLC, our six-year-old dog Polar was diagnosed in October with osteosarcoma, an aggressive and indiscriminate type of bone cancer that leaves little time for weighing options.