The Lost Child Club

This post is dedicated to the parents who lost their babies in Newtown, Connecticut today.  18 babies died in their classroom at Sandy Hook Elementary School when a gunman deliberately came into their classroom and murdered these innocent children.

Rest in peace baby boys and baby girls.  My Prince is waiting for you in heaven to show you the ropes, give you a big hug, and welcome you home.  You were loved and you will be missed.

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Tonight, several parents join a club that no parent wants to join.  I call it the “Lost Child Club”.  This group of parents are forced to live life as parents without their children.  These parents woke up one morning with healthy children, and are now going to have to go to sleep knowing that they will never see them again.  Unfortunately, I can imagine how these parents feel.  While my son was not killed in a mass shooting, I remember how I felt when I realized that my Prince would never wake up again.  A part of me died that night with him as I know is the case for all of the families who have lost their babies tonight.

I joined this club nearly eight weeks ago when my son died tragically and suddenly during an unsupervised visit with his father.  Before Prince died, I could never have imagined being a part of this club.  I wouldn’t have signed up, nor would I have wished membership on anyone.  I knew I was not the first parent to lose their child in a tragic way, but after it happened – I hoped that I would be the last.

A loss for the right words:

When I first heard about this tragedy I was on my way to meet with someone who I had identified to help me with my case.  I needed someone who could help me in my fight for justice.  For the last two days, I have been practicing what to say in this particular meeting.  I needed someone who could add some teeth to my fight and this guy was the guy to do that.  After hearing this news, however, my “speech” fell apart.  Hearing this news brought me back to how I felt the night I lost Prince.  So instead of the grand speech that I had prepared, I said something like the following:

“I had something to say – I had planned a speech.  I just heard the disturbing news about a shooter who killed an entire class full of babies.  I have no words right now that sound right.  I need your help.  My son died and I need your help.”

 

Under normal circumstances, I consider myself a very articulate woman; however, this situation has left me cold.

 

Psychological Confusion:

I hear news anchors talking about how “rare” these things are and attempting to calm down the public.  Having met someone who is capable of this sort of horror, I wonder if it is as rare as people want to believe.  While we don’t yet know if this shooter was a psychopath, it is clear that he had some sort of psychological condition.  Given what I know about the system, I believe that we will soon hear about the people who could have reported “suspicious behavior” or possibly even had him committed to an institution.  We will likely hear of the many things broken in our system that allowed this mentally ill person to walk into an elementary school and murder innocent babies.

We have laws in this country that state that if you are seriously ill, you cannot possess a weapon.  What is the threshold for this and do we really enforce this?  For example, Luc owns a handgun and actually still possesses a concealment permit in the Commonwealth of Virginia.  That’s right – a man who is under investigation for killing his own child is walking around a free man and allowed to conceal his weapon in public.

 

Finding some words:

I won’t sit here and say that my situation is the same as these parents.  While there are similarities, there are many differences.  (No better – no worse – just different)  I have been living in chaos since the day I met Luc almost three years ago.  I worried about Prince every single day,  because I came to understand what Luc was capable of and how truly disordered.  These parents, however, sent their children to school.  While they were at work expecting their children to be singing songs and learning to read, these children were being killed.

There is nothing that I can say that will make tonight any easier for these parents.  There is nothing anyone can do to make them not want to jump in the grave with their children.  If they were reading this tonight, however, I would say this…

“You are not alone.  You were not the first, and you probably won’t be the last.  You did the best you could to protect your child.  You will, however, still beat yourself up for all the things you think you should have done and all the things you wished you had done differently.  This is normal.  Don’t let anyone tell you how to grieve.  You need to do it your way.

Right now, you get the ability to act or feel however you want to act or feel.  When this initial grief phase begins to ease, please try to celebrate the memory of your baby.  Your child is now your guardian angel.  You were chosen to be your child’s parent and, unfortunately, you and your child were chosen for a greater cause for which might not make sense at this time.  Don’t lose your faith in God because of this tragedy.

You don’t know me and we might not ever have the chance to meet.  If you cannot get out of bed and fight for the memory of your child, I will try and fight for you.  I am a mother who lost her son.  I fight not only for my son, but I also fight for yours.  When you feel like dying, please remember that you are the only thing left of your baby in life.  Your child deserves the right to live through your memories.”

For all of my readers who have children.  Don’t just hug your children tonight.  Hug them every day and never take being a parent for granted.  You never know what hand you will be dealt in life.  Even a child can be there one day and gone the next.

 

The Pain of a nation:

We need to all start taking some responsibility in this nation.  How many people see child abuse on a daily basis and don’t report it?  How many people see someone with a serious disorder and allow him/her access to a child?  How many children are going to have to die before we as a country start actually trying to fix the things that are wrong with our country?

President Obama said, “our hearts are broken.”  I would take that a step further and say, “Our nation is in danger.”  What has made our nation special is that throughout history we have overcome tremendous challenges.  We have been able to come together and make important changes.  Now we face a crisis on children.  Let’s come together and fight for our children.  Let’s put our differences aside and start asking the right questions and seeking the answers.  We are all responsible.  Reporting something after the fact is too late.

I was not the first, and clearly I was not the last…but I wanted to be.  Rest in Peace baby boy Prince.  Take care of these new baby angels.