Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Here Is Light For Newtown... And For You

Charlie Brown’s reference to grief should be the only one we hear repeatedly this time of year.  Unfortunately, that's hardly the case this season, as we've all spent the last several days in mourning.

The good news is, there is light.  Granted it may be difficult to find, but with the proper tools, Newtown can find light.

It's no secret that I lost my father to cancer when I was 18.  I was 14 when he was diagnosed with a brain tumor larger than a grapefruit.  My sister was 10.

So began a lifetime of changes...  everything from regular sessions with Agnes, the elderly social worker as relatable as a duck, to my mother’s new “don’t sweat the small stuff” mentality.

But one thing never changed.  I still miss my dad everyday.  I hate that he never met my husband and cry because my kids will never experience the love of a living grandfather.  That said, I consider myself to be a (relatively) well-adjusted adult.  So I lucked out.

Indeed we lost 20 children in Newtown, but we also lost 7 adults, many of whom had children of their own.  I want those kids to know they are not alone in their darkness.  There is light.  And here is a wonderful place to find it.

My beautiful friend Julie, a 9-year volunteer at Circle of Tapawingo and creator of this video, shared the following:

“One of camp’s hardest hours is Circle Time. We come together, in a circle, to give each girl the chance to share her story -- as much or as little as she wants -- of how her parent died. For some, there is manageable sadness. For others, only sobbing and muffled words. Each time what I am struck by most is how girls so young know how and when to console so well... when to reach for the tissues, when to embrace, when to show just the right amount of comfort to say "I'm here".  Often we don't know what to do in these scenarios as adults, yet these inspiring kids know exactly what to do, with strength and wisdom beyond their years. I am there to help, teach and support them. Ironically, they have done just that for me in return.”

The Newtown victims had their voices taken away, but those they left behind still have theirs, and deserve to be heard around the world.  Places like Circle of Tapawingo can help.

You can learn more about the camp to help and support their important mission here.  

The circle is always growing.  Welcome, Newtown.