I’m at work overhearing the news report in my patient’s room. The parents of a 7-year-old girl who was killed in the Newtown shooting is speaking. I’m riveted. Not because this shooting affected me in any specific way. In fact, on the day it happened, I could’ve cared less. Why? Because on that day, I woke up to a world in which my daughter, too, was dead.
And so, despite the fact that it was a drastically different scenario, and I have NO idea what it feels like to send my daughter to a safe place only to lose her within its walls, in the end our loss is more alike than different. It’s very very different. But grief is grief, your child dead is your child dead, and we certainly have more in common than the average mom who has never lost a child.
I watch the mom on the television with a new acute sense of awareness. I do not know exactly what you’re going through, but I can imagine, oh yes I can. I have picked out a child’s gravestone, too. I have held her remains in their black box. I have woken every day to the nightmare of her empty room.