Hollow

Ever since I read about the tragedy that occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut on Friday, I feel like I’ve been walking around feeling hollow. I’ve been consumed with an empty feeling.

Whenever I struggle with emotions that I cannot handle, I typically turn to writing. I’ll write blog posts that will never be published just so I can get the words out and work through my feelings. These unpublished blog posts are often a stream of consciousness overflowing with words. Because my emotions are so strong, the words effortlessly flow as I work through things and try to make sense of what my heart is feeling.

When I sat down to write about Sandy Hook Elementary School, I felt so much.

My core felt like a jumble of emotions and words. I had so much going on inside of me… but I couldn’t seem to get my fingers to begin typing.

Not one word.

How could I capture the feelings I felt when I leaned that an elementary school was the target of a shooting? One that left 26 innocent people dead?

How could I adequately express the pain and sorrow I felt for the family members of the victims?

How could I put into words the agony that I know the parents of the little boys and girls who were killed will feel when they open a closet to see presents that will go unopened this holiday season?

And then I realized I couldn’t.

I can’t.

All I can do is offer my prayers. My deepest prayers. My sympathy.

I know we will all move on with our lives and forever remember the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Many of us – myself included – took time this weekend to enjoy time with loved ones and cherish the little moments. I wanted to resume blogging in a normal fashion yesterday… and today… but I couldn’t. There is so much left unsaid. Even as I move to push “publish” on this post, there is so much left unsaid.

To the victims who lost their lives at Sandy Hook Elementary school and their family and friends: You have my tears, my heart and my prayers.

Comments

  1. says

    Beautiful post, Julie. You’re right, there are absolutely no words for such a tragedy. I have cried my tears, but my feelings of sorrow and sympathy will go on for quite some time. In such circumstances, the best thing we can do is always remember and let it affect us in some way, no matter how big or small.

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  2. Kelly says

    I’ve been feeling the same way. I’m sure we all have. As a mother it makes me physically ill to think about those precious little children. Pray, hold those that are dear to you close and pray some more!

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  3. Jennifer W. says

    Perfectly said. There are no words that can be written, typed or said to help us process what has happened because, this should have never happened.

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  4. Liz L. says

    As the parent of a first grader, my heart was heavy as I sent my daughter to school this morning. I can’t help but think of all the parents who sent their babies to school on Friday morning and were never able to take them home. I have been thinking about it all weekend, shedding tears for all of the victims and their families. Your post sums up my thoughts as well….I feel empty inside. And also wondering what else we can do to keep our children safe, to prevent further tragedies….

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  5. says

    Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, Burmese democratic politician and peaceful thought leader, once said, “When you feel helpless, help someone.” This quote will forever remain in my heart. Especially with times like these. Now, more than ever, we need to allow God’s light to flow through us and be a light to others. When we help someone, we increase our energetic vibrations; we feel better and mroe connected; we bring more love into the world. You have so much give and you give it every day, sister. <3 xoxo

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    • Chris W says

      This quote fits perfectly. My sister & I feel the same as everyone else, we just cannot even begin to imagine what those families are going thru. We feel that prayers are just not enough. The father of one of her friend’s passed away recently & the outpouring of her friends has been phenomenal. They have been doing “Random acts of Kindness” in honor of her father. My sister & I have decided that is something we can “do” for families who have lost so much. I also work in a school – a high school. The students that I work with have also decided that this is a great idea. If one small Random Act of Kindness can make someone feel better about themselves, their day, society, then it will all be worth it. We’re also hoping that those who have received a Random Act of Kindness will “Pay it Forward.” We’re hoping to make a difference if even just for this holiday season.

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  6. Katie says

    Thank you for taking the time to address this on more than one occassion. It baffles me that some of the other blogs I read have not uttered a word about these tragedies.

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  7. Angela says

    I also feel the same way. I keep looking at the pictures of the little innocent babies and how scared they must have been. I think about the last child in that classroom- how he/she must have felt having seen everythng unfold. I’m heartbroken.

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  8. Kristin M says

    Beautiful post Julie! I really appreaciate you sharing your thoughts and allowing us as readers to have an outlet to share as well!
    I am a mother of a first grader and seeing the names, ages, and pictures of the children has just hit me so hard! All weekend as I was wrapping presents, folding laundry, cleaning rooms, etc… I was overcome with saddness knowing so many parents in CT should be doing the same things this weekend but instead were preparing to bury their child…I can not even begin to imagine their loss! I will continue to pray for the victims and thier families.

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  9. Kelli says

    I very rarly comment on blogs but as a parent of a 6 and 7 year old this weekend was long and depressing and I think you said it right I felt HOLLOW . I went to church hoping for some closure it helped but I am still so raw over what happen I will continue to pray for healing of those people. and families that were affected.

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  10. says

    I absolutely still cannot believe the horrific events that took place on Friday. We need to make sure our children are safe and never have to fear going to school. I feel so badly for these poor families who miss their children. I can’t begin to imagine the grief.

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  11. Angie says

    I don’t comment often but I wanted to thank you for publishing this post. You took the words right out of my mouth. I think it’s difficult for all of us to find the words to adequately express such deep feelings of sorrow. To be honest, I don’t have any words of encouragement because I’m not sure how to cope with these feelings myself. I just wanted to let you know you aren’t alone in the way you feel. I think most of us are going to be praying for the people of Newtown for quite a while.

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  12. Jessie says

    I understand the feeling. There is a hollow feeling inside. Its almost like I need to cry for a long time or punch a punching bag. I haven’t been able to do either and I haven’t been able to talk much about the situation. As an elementary teacher and just a person, I am struggling with this tradegy.

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  13. says

    This is so beautifully written, and so well said. There are no words – just pain at a time like this. I couldn’t help but think of my three adorable cousins who are 4, 5, and 6 years old. I can’t imagine the grief I would be going through if someone had taken them away from me. If I could never see their innocent angelic faces light up. All we can do is pray <3

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  14. Lindsay Szwed says

    So so true. The unimaginable has happened. I have been so overwhelmed the last few days that I feel like I don’t have any more tears. I just look at the tv or computer and instead of sobbing, I feel like puking. I cannot even fathom what these poor people are experiencing. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings in your blog. <3

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  15. Stef says

    Thank you so much for this well versed post. I have felt speechless and helpless in not being able to do anything. It’s good to hear someone put these feelings into words. Thank you again.

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    • whitney says

      I understand and absolutely nothing against you, but this article brings no closure and makes me more baffled and confused that some humans are born with an evil soul. That kid in the article understood enough to apologize to his mother for his horrible behavior… Adam Lanza made a choice, a disgusting and disturbing choice that he will now eternally pay for. My heart is broken.

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      • Ashley says

        As a sister of someone with a mental illness and a psychology student, I find your comment quite offensive. People with mental illness are not born with evil souls and even if the boy in the article knew what he was doing it does not mean he can control what he is doing. I agree that Adam Lanza made a choice in this act but I think the ignorance towards mental illness is more baffling.

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        • whitney says

          I sincerely apologize for offending you… I definitely did not mean that everyone with a mental illness has an evil soul. I do agree with you that the issue of mental illness should not be ignored. I think out of anger for what Adam Lanza did, it is just hard for me to consider him a victim of anything.

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          • Ashley says

            I agree…the unfortunate thing is we will never really know what was going on in his head because the person who seemed to know him the most(his mother) is also dead. I applogize for jumping on your comment like that, it’s just the article I am Adam Lanza’s mother hit a little too close to home in many different ways.

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      • Michele says

        I think the point of the article was less about the evil in certain people and more about the fact that our country offers no real help to those with serious mental illnesses. Adam Lanza was not the only Adam Lanza–there are so many people who are sick, and the only “solution” for them is to be locked up in jail and pumped full of antipsychotics. And that helps no one. We as a country need to address the issue of mental health and the fact that we provide no guidance for people who can’t help themselves. Obtaining a gun should not be easier than getting real help for a mental illness.

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  16. says

    It’s really awful. I completely agree with you that there are just NO words. It doesn’t register with me how someone can kill let alone kill innocent children who had their entire life ahead of them. I think of myself as a little girl in elementary school, a safe and happy place to learn and make new friends. I can’t believe that from this day forward a place so pure and innocent will never be looked at the same. I can’t imagine how terrified parents were today when sending their children off to school. It’s a tragedy that I can’t and will never forget.

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  17. Morgan says

    This is exactly how I feel. Coupled with another issue, my heart just feels so heavy. All weekend I felt like I was in a funk that I just couldn’t snap out of. It scares me to bring children into this world. :(

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  18. suzie says

    beautiful post!!! just fyi- 27 people died (28 included the shooter). we should not forget his mother in all of this, as she was also a victim..

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    • Ariana says

      I was just about to say the same thing. All over people keep saying “26 people”…the mom WAS a victim. I don’t care if she wasn’t at the school, her life was taken as well.

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      • Carmen says

        The mother was NOT a victim when she taught her mentally ill son how to use guns! She should have known better than to give him access to those weapons and taking him shooting. She got what she asked for whereas those poor babies and teachers DID NOT!!!

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        • Ariana says

          I respect Julie enough to not argue about this on her blog. I know in my heart that the mother did not deserve what she got and I feel for her and her family as they also are grieving. There is no proof that her son ever seemed to be a danger to anyone, nor that he was mentally ill to the point where they thought this could be a possibility. I can’t believe how brightly your ignorance shines just through text on a blog. What a shame.

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          • carmen says

            It has infact already been said by nancy’s family, that adam DID have mental issues, and nancy insisted on him living with her and she did not like to leave her alone. If you don’t like leaving your 20 year old alone ever, then there’s a serious issue. Hence, she should have been more responsible with her guns. Why did she need multiple guns anyways??? And if she chose to for whatever reason, then she should have kept them away from her son!!!!!! I’m sorry as a mother, I hold her as responsible as I would hold adam.

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  19. Sara says

    I respect you writing this. So many bloggers posted workout and food pics and didnt mention this national tragedy which seemed wrong. I know it feels off to me to be at work today (I’m a teacher).

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  20. Chelsea says

    Well said, Julie. I feel the same way, I am so sad for these families and I feel so helpless, I want to be able to do something for them but I know there is nothing that will help. I just pray for them and pray the media will leave them alone and let them grieve. We all grieve differently and I want them to be able to do it in peace. We will never be able to even imagine the pain they are feeling, and it is their own pain to feel, and I pray the media will see that and leave them alone. I cry whenever I see anything about and hold my family a little tighter. I will continue to pray for those families and the victims for many years to come.

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  21. Caroline says

    I feel the same. I was just saying last night how I feel like this is one tragedy that has really changed the world we live in. I am not yet a mother, but was a nanny for two amazing children and I couldn’t stop thinking what if. Friday night I had plans to go out but I just couldn’t–nothing in the news has ever affected me this way and I go to bed and wake up thinking about it. Thank you for acknowledging this.

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  22. says

    What a beautifully written post. I felt the same way- I thought the words would come flowing out when I sat down to write, and instead realized that I was just speechless- that words couldn’t possibly capture this horrific event.

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  23. says

    I can totally relate to your feelings Julie….every shooting that has happened during my lifetime has left me feeling sad and confused…but this tradgedy was different. It’s the only one that has really resonated with me for days…made it difficult to get my mood back up.

    It’s interesting how people all over are feeling this way…even though we weren’t directly affected by the shooting we still felt it’s painful affects to some extent.

    Hopefully it is some comfort to the victims and their families to know that they are not alone. I know it is comforting to me to see everyone coming together. In the midst of tradgedy, Love is still alive. One quote that helped me was, “These three things will last forever, Faith, Hope and Love. But the greatest of these is love.”

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  24. says

    Being from CT, and having this happen so close to home, I thank you, such a beautifully written post that perfectly describes what all of us are feeling right now.

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  25. says

    As a former Sandy Hook Elementary student, thank you from the bottom of my heart for this post. My hometown is going through a terrible time, but we are overwhelmed with the support and love that the world has shown us.

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  26. Fizz @ fizzsbizz says

    I have read a number of blogs today where people have left hateful comments either about not blogging or about blogging too much. I think all you can do is do what feels right to you.
    I’m sure that for the people who are still blogging, it’s not because they aren’t thinking of the awfulness of Friday or everyday since, they are just handling it the best way they can.

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  27. Stephanie says

    Hi Julie. Thanks for writing this. I don’t even know how to process or understand all that happened. I do recommend you read this, which I think captures how we all must act going forward in light of this tragedy. http://www.pbs.org/wnet/need-to-know/opinion/stay-in-your-heart-no-matter-how-painful/15755/

    An excerpt:
    “Tragedies like this one are a loud and clear call to reflect on what can go so wrong with the world—the worse of human behavior. But, they are also a call to walk the highest road—to reach out to a stranger, to be a bit more hospitable and humble, to take bigger risks at connecting with our neighbors, to use kinder voices, to show more affection.”

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    • says

      Julie, very well said and amen to all that. There’s nothing better that we can do than pray for them, and God hears our prayers when we earnestly seek Him!

      And Stephanie, thank you so so much for sharing….it is such a beautiful and true excerpt. I always give people the benefit of the doubt if they act in a bitter or negative way because I know that there is just something DEEP inside that drives them to be that way, so your quote stated this perfectly. Someone once told me, “hurt people, hurt people oftentimes.”

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  28. Kelly says

    There are no words for this horrific tragedy. Here in connecticut, our hearts are heavy and stomachs are sick. It is so unthinkable– the poor, poor, babies.

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  29. says

    Thank you for writing, Julie. You captured how we all feel-devastated, angry, sad, and hurting so bad for those families. My prayers are going to them that they might find peace somehow eventually. :( Mourning with those who mourn is powerful & I think this town needs our hearts & prayers badly! They are in my heart, thoughts, and prayers as well.

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  30. Lindsay says

    When a tragedy hits our nation, I always feel it. My sister’s best friend knew someone who was killed in Aurora. I felt that one. But this one. This one has shaken me to my core. I’m not sure that it’s just because it was children. Obviously, a lost child is a tragedy in itself, but I have peace in that God loves children and they are now with Him.

    What shook me is that these things are becoming more and more “normal”, if ever an occasion could become normal. I heard on the radio this morning that this is the 16th mass shooting in our nation this year. SIXTEENTH. This cannot keep happening. I have sorrow for each and every person who has lost their life due to a selfish person with a gun. But I have rage over the fact that it took this horrific event for our nation to finally say “this has got to stop”.

    One last thing. This song is on repeat for me today. It is really the only thing getting me through the work day. Maybe it’ll bring you comfort, too. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vCpP0mFD9F0

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  31. says

    As a teacher, I can relate to Julie and then some. I was moved to tears at work on Friday and it is hard to wrap my brain around the evil that could do such a thing. My heart is weeping for those children’s lives that were cut short, and for the brave teachers and admin that gave their lives to protect them. Heroes.

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  32. says

    This post couldnt have been said any better. Friday morning after I heard the news I just sat at my desk and cried. It is a completely empty, helpless feeling. I just want to hug all the families who lost a loved one but I know they feel the out poor of emotion from a whole nation struck by such a tragic, horrific act. Those little children and adults will forever be in our hearts.

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  33. says

    Beautiful post, Julie. I spent the weekend being present with my son as much as possible. This really hit everyone hard and I still find myself choking back tears for people I didn’t even know just because I can understand a fraction of the pain they’re feeling – the excitement you feel buying presents you know your kids will love. The magic of setting up the Christmas tree and looking at the ornaments you picked out together each year as a family.

    I’m praying along with you.

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  34. says

    Thanks for acknowledging this tremendous tragedy publicly. You wrote that extremely well. I have been feeling the same way. There are no words to describe it.

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  35. Michelle says

    Hi Julie, I read your blog daily (it’s become a part of my morning ritual) and I love that you again took the time to address this. You summed up how I’ve been feeling amazingly well, in a way I never could manage to do. Thank you for your blog and your beautiful heart and soul.

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  36. says

    Well-written Julie. I just remember walking on the treadmill at my gym and seeing the coverage on the news. My heart literally broke. I came home and turned my TV on CNN, and I felt the tears well up inside of me. Such a senseless tragedy. I was sad, angry, confused, and so many other emotions all rolled up into one. All any of us can do is pray and appreciate the lives we live and the people in them. We never know when, or how we’ll be called.

    Blessings to you and yours.

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  37. Sally says

    That was very well said. I think everyone feels at a loss for words regarding this tragedy. My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone affected by this senseless act.

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  38. says

    That was absolutely beautifully said. I have felt very empty since this tragedy struck. I simply look at my two girls and just don’t even know how these parents are supposed to go on. My heart truly feels pain for all the families. Thank you for putting your feelings to words.

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  39. says

    i found out friday in the teacher’s lounge and felt hallow the entire afternoon as i taught my students. this morning i couldn’t help but think of those first grade students every time i heard my fourth graders tell me stories, answer a question, or simply have a conversation with a classmate. as a first year teacher i kept wondering how i would have reacted in that situation. i felt numb as i read over our schools’ “red folder” policy as i prayed in hopes that i will never have to use any of that information. thank you for taking the time to express yourself through your blog.

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  40. Lauren Barnard says

    Beautiful post, Julie. I teach first grade in Texas and so many times I caught myself just watching their sweet faces and had to choke back tears many times, I have 22 6 and 7 year olds, can’t imagine someone wanting to do such harm to such young babes. Such beautiful innocence taken and I still can’t wrap my head around it.

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  41. says

    I too thought of the unopened presents, and what those families might do with them. Leave them? Let another child open them? Never open them? It’s unbearably sad. Thanks for posting your true feelings about this. I know it isn’t fun to feel this way, bearing the sadness for these victims. But your post is much appreciated.

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  42. Melissa says

    This is why your blog is one of the best. You are truly yourself, its not just a business.. & that shows. thanks for this. i feel the same way :'( its weird going on with normal life.

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  43. Michele R. says

    I’ve never commented on your blog but I read it sometimes and I wanted to thank you for posting this. I’ve been a bit bothered and thrown off by how many food/health blogs have just gone on with their usual business without mentioning this tragedy. To me, this tragedy is so incredibly heartbreaking I can’t imagine not acknowledging it if I ran a popular blog. I appreciate your post and share your heartache.

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  44. says

    Beautifully stated! As a mother of two, one of them a sweet little first grader I can’t help but feel lost and confused about this senseless tragedy. My heart hurts for these families, deep down! But I can’t help but wonder what can “we” do to help, if at all? A card or something. When someone is grieving its hard to know what to do to help, if anything. But is there something we can do to show our love and support to these families? They are not alone and they will not be forgotten even if our days go on…

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  45. says

    This was very touching Julie. It was a horrible thing that happened and a horrible time of year for it to occur. My heart goes out to all of those suffering and all of those who can not see the smiles on their little one’s faces this Christmas and all of the Christmases to come.

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  46. Jen says

    Hi Julie, I have been thinking about you since i read your post since yesterday. I read in one of many facebooks posts that people at engaging in #20#26 random acts of kindness in memory of all the little ones and the brave adults who are now in heaven. This is one way for us all to show kindness and love for the ones who aren’t able to.
    Hugs to you!!!

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  47. says

    I feel like what you have said here explains why it was really hard for me to write more than a paragraph or two on my blog about Newtown. I had no idea what to say but that does not mean that we don’t have any feelings. In fact it can mean we have too much. Thank you for sharing this post with us!

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