It’s been nearly a week. Seven days since unspeakable acts of violence were committed at Sandy Hook Elementary. And yet, I can’t seem to find my blogging rhythm. Perhaps I’m confused about what content is or isn’t appropriate to post. There is no blogging etiquette to follow. No code of ethics that governs the act of behaving properly in delicate matters. No set of mores regulating social media in the wake of mass murder.
Is it okay to post something humorous immediately following this tragedy? Is it too soon? How do we get back to ‘normal?’ I don’t have the answers. My eyes are still swollen and my mind is clouded. Proper etiquette is especially tricky when it comes to grieving and loss.
Etiquette of any sort is becoming a lost art. Times have changed. But the principle of manners should remain constant. Manners are a “sensitive awareness of the feelings of others.” It’s about being respectful, considerate, and honest. Manners go beyond which fork to use.
Having said that, I felt conflicted about how to present my sincere concern about this crisis. There was a point, upon hearing the news, that I wished the WordPress gods would STOP the presses. I imagined a news ticker in red, scrolling across the Freshly Pressed page, that headlined: “We apologize for interrupting our regular scheduled programming. However, in light of recent events, we have elected to take a brief respite and will resume business as usual Monday morning.”
Then I quickly realized this is not reality. The world does not have a pause button. Just because I wanted to curl up into a ball and disengage from the outside world didn’t mean others opted to bow out. Everyone grieves in their own way. Life must go on.
I will finish shopping for gifts, mailing out Christmas cards, and baking cookies for Santa. I will get up tomorrow and take my children to school. My life will resume a normal course of activity. But life will never be the same for the victim’s families. No one will know the magnitude of their loss once the cameras stop rolling. We won’t know what happened to unopened Christmas presents, clothes left behind in children’s closets, or toys that will never be touched by tiny hands again.
We won’t know the depth of such grief because we can still hear our children’s heartbeat.
How did you approach your first post after the tragedy?