On December 14, I sat in a firehouse surrounded by large group of concerned parents all wanting to know where our missing children were. I didn't know any of them. I didn't know that I would form a bond with this group of strangers that would forever connect us through tragedy.
No matter how elaborately your neighbor organized her daughter's lemonade stand, no matter how perfectly manicured your sister-in-law's nails are and no matter how many runny-nosed children your best friend manages to entertain in her minivan, there is no supermom.
I want to share in your joy, I want to applaud all the new life and growing families and hope and love that these new babies will bring. I do. I really do. And most every day, I can. Today, I am struggling. I hate to admit that, but it's true.
Those of us with healthy children may, for a time, enjoy the luxury of remaining oblivious to their vulnerability and impermanence. But when a "close call" provides an unwelcome reality check, we can take some comfort in the fact that all parents are, really and truly, in this together
In the days left, we would live life in the way that Maddie loved. We would enjoy our time, and use our "forever" to miss her. She was here now and needed her little sisters, Amelia and Lucy, her family, her friends and lots of fun.
Grief is not linear. It whips you around and sometimes it corners you and forces you to sit down or lie down and let it wash over you. It comes with minefields that can take you from feeling functional to running to your car to sit and cry until the tears won't come anymore.
How do you celebrate the holidays in the wake of a national tragedy? How do you find life in the midst of carnage too horrible to imagine? Here's what you need to know, from the perspective of a parent who has lost their child from a catastrophic act of violence.
And so the days have been. It could all change tomorrow. I could be a grieving mom. I hope the day never comes. Dare I say, in a small way I grive with these moms. I am so sorry they have lost their babies. I am in awe of their courage.
What makes it so difficult to grieve our children is that when they are lost, we are lost. Hope waning, so, too, is our wonder, our gaiety, our reveling in the miracle of life, the promise of tomorrow.