We, the mothers of the world, are heartbroken.
We feel helpless, and even hopeless. While attempting to go about our daily routines, we think about your beautiful babies being laid to rest and we burst into tears. We see the faces of your children when we look at ours and we're unable to process what happened and unsure how we should be reacting.
Are we allowed to be this upset when our own children are still alive?
Are we crazy for being petrified as we watch our children get on the school bus each morning?
Recently at my office two mothers came to work without their laptops, one forgot she was having a party at her house that night, and I left our company Christmas cards at home three days in a row. While these trivial mishaps are nothing (less than nothing) compared to what the parents in Newtown are going through, they are a signal that the ripple effects from the shootings are palpable within the world of motherhood.
There's a fog over mothers around the world. Eyes are swollen from crying, hearts are aching from pain and we just can't seem to keep it together.
We look at our children's schools through a different lens now. This week, a mother told me the one thing she noticed about her daughter's kindergarten classroom was the fact that there's nowhere to hide. Another mother told me she began mapping out an escape route while sharing a bologna sandwich with her first-grader in his school cafeteria. Moring drop-off lines stall and back up as mothers crane their necks to watch their children walk into school.
We're grieving for the loss of innocent lives in Newtown.
We're grieving for the loss of our own sense of security.
We desperately want to help, but we just don't know what to do.
Mothers around the world tell me they have something to say, they have messages inside their broken hearts, but they don't know what to do with them. They're telling their husbands, they're posting on Facebook, they're huddling in corners with other crying moms... but what they really want to do is share their thoughts with mothers and fathers in Connecticut whose hearts will forever be broken.
As the parents of Newtown say goodbye to their beautiful children, let's ignite the unparalleled sisterhood of motherhood to show our support and share the thoughts that are running through our minds every hour of every day.
Let's say them out loud, let's share the heartache and let's share the love.
To the parents of Newtown:
We don't know what it's like to lose a child the way you did.
We don't know exactly what to say.
We just want to share loving thoughts from our broken hearts to yours.
The Mothers of the World
Katherine Wintsch is the founder of The Mom Complex and the mother of a kindergartner and preschooler.