I wanted to say something, but I didn't know what.
I still feel so grief-stricken, so shocked.
I still feel so shocked.
I feel like my heart is in my throat.
I cry a little all throughout the day.
Just here and there over small things.
I've been having a bit of a rough time anyway, but then this.
This horrid tragedy that allowed some tears to flow. Tears for what I've been going through personally and for what I hope to god I never, ever have to feel.
I keep staring at my child in a new way.
A more intense way.
A way that feels like ... what if you were gone in an instant?
Would I have looked closely enough that morning?
Would I have been kind that morning?
Would I have smelled you deeply that last morning?
Last night, while sleeping curled up with my son, I dreamed that he had somehow been sent into another realm, like through a portal.
I had this little gizmo, sort of like Russian stacking dolls, and when the last piece was removed he was supposed to materialize back.
Except he didn't.
I could talk to him, but I couldn't see or get to him.
He said there was another little girl on level 7 and he would try to get to her so they could be together.
I was hysterical and I couldn't get anyone to help me.
I woke with my heart racing and tears coursing down my face.
I don't know what to say.
Except this: We have a mental health crisis in this country.
I firmly believe gun control will help, but we have a mental health crisis in this country.
I have a dear friend who lives in my neighborhood.
Her twin brother suffered a head injury years ago and now lives in the state psychiatric hospital here in Austin.
You should listen to her talk about what mental health care is like here in America.
How she finally had to get her brother arrested, repeatedly, so that she could get him some care.
How the only way anyone would, or could, help her was when it became clear to everyone that he was a danger to himself and to others.
It wasn't enough that she told them. And told them. And told them.
She had to use the jail system as her "doctor."
I spoke with her on the street yesterday and she later forwarded me this piece from the Huffington Post.
I beg of you to read it because it will help you understand what it's like to live with a child like Adam Lanza.
This is what she says, " I am sharing this story because I am Adam Lanza’s mother. I am Dylan
Klebold’s and Eric Harris’s mother. I am James Holmes’s mother. I am
Jared Loughner’s mother... ."
Here is her story: 'I Am Adam Lanza's Mother': A Mom's Perspective on the Mental Illness Conversation in America
I bought the New York Times yesterday.
Did you see the cover?
I sobbed. All those babies' names listed in a row.
Babies who were 6 and 7 years old.
Babies and the heroes who cared for them every day at school.
This is the list:
Charlotte Bacon, 6
Daniel Barden, 7
Olivia Engel, 6
Josephine Gay, 7
Ana Marquez-Greene, 6
Dylan Hockley, 6
Madeleine Hsu, 6
Catherine Hubbard, 6
Chase Kowalski, 7
Jesse Lewis, 6
James Mattioli, 6
Grace McDonnell, 7
Emilie Parker, 6
Jack Pinto, 6
Noah Pozner, 6
Caroline Previdi, 6
Jessica Rekos, 6
Benjamine Wheeler, 6
Allison Wyatt, 6
Rachel Davino, 29 - Teacher
Dawn Hochsprung, 47 - Principal
Nancy Lanza, 52 - Mother of gunman
Adam Lanza, 20 - Mentally ill perpetrator
Anne Marie Murphy, 52 - Teacher
Lauren Rousseau, 30 - Teacher
Mary Sherlach, 56 - School psychologist
Victoria Soto, 27 - Teacher
I know I can't do much.
I can write letters, sign petitions, talk, vote.
We must make ourselves heard, but the road will be long.
What I am doing today, and would like to invite you to join me in, is taking one name off this list and remembering that person every day for one year.
However you would like to do that.
I do it upon awakening. I think of the child, their family, their friends. I just think about them.
Will you join me?
Will you pick a person off this list and think of them every day for one year?
I took precious little Charlotte Bacon because she was first on the list.
If you'd like to, leave your name in the comments section with the name of the person you will be thinking of.
Maybe we should just go down the list in order?
I don't know what this does, or means, if anything.
It just seems like something.
Something so we don't end up forgetting in a few weeks as we Americans, modern people in general, are wont to do.
We must do something.
PS I would also like to add this before it turns into an issue. I do not believe that the mother in the Huffington piece is equating autism with violence in children. She clearly states that many, many diagnoses have been thrust upon her child, but what remains true is that he is mentally ill. Label or no label. My personal experience is that I know plenty of children on the spectrum and none of them is violent in any way.