Last week a family I knew through an email list I've been part of for several years met the most unimaginable tragedy. The father killed the mother and their three young children, then turned the gun on himself.
I was shocked, numb, and couldn't really imagine it.
I prayed for them and peace in their passing.
Then I tried to convince myself that I really didn't have any right to feel personally affected by this because I'd never ever met them face to face. Our contact was through email and confined to a single topic (parenting and Waldorf Education). I decided my sadness was self indulgent and not real.
Then I got really angry that the internet had made my world too big. I have been exposed to too much violence, in a personal way, the kinds of violence I avoid by not watching television news and avoiding international sensationalistic news reports. This wasn't the first tragedy of this magnitude I'd been touched by. I knew a woman online who murdered her son and buried him in their basement too! raged against the computer and even thought of closing down my blog to all but family.
That anger let me really feel the depth of my sadness for Francie and her family. I went to bed and cried and I didn't want to get up.
I'm not sure how I feel right now. I'm still very sad, but the pressing issues in my own life are taking precedence and as I look at my kids I'm so glad they have no concept or exposure to this horror.
If you pray, please pray for Francie and her children, and her husband. Pray for the friends and family reeling in their own grief right now. Pray for their schoolmates - they went to a small Waldorf School in Maryland and the entire school has been deeply affected. Pray for all the women and children who have been touched by this kind of violence....and pray for the fathers who think there is no other option.