My daughter is three, and thankfully too young to know or understand what happened at Sandy Hook. I’m still traumatized by it, though.
I keep thinking about the teacher who hid her students, distracted the gunman, and died protecting them. I think about those student survivors, and what they must have gone through hearing all that outside their closet doors. I imagine some of them eventually peeked, and saw their teacher shot and bleeding out on the floor.
I woke up last night, still having nightmares about this tragedy. I wish I hadn’t watched so much news this weekend. I was awake for hours in the early morning, angry that I couldn’t sleep again as the early light began to stream in the room.
I took my daughter to a puppet show earlier in the evening and at one point, I nearly started crying watching how happy she was, pointing and giggling as the puppets sang. I have to get it together, man, I know, but I was just overwhelmed with gratefulness at that moment. Healthy, happy, alive.
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After the Colorado movie theater shooting, I dreamed a crazed gunman came in our house and shot me hiding in the bathtub with my husband. I still remember the man’s glazed over eyes and cold stare as he raised the gun, and the absolute horror and terror of knowing that I was going to die. I woke up as he pulled the trigger. I wasn’t a mom in that life.
You see, I used to have this theory that our dreams were the way we connected to our other selves living out life in other, parallel universes. I mean, it makes so much sense. You know how you dream: “It was my house, but not my house.” “I was with my friends, but I don’t remember who they were.” I think it’s entirely possible that we have one soul that simultaneously exists in other physical places and timelines as well as in some sort of amorphous state of non-being - like if you had a ball of silly putty and pulled pieces out of it like a sun ray’s in a child’s simple drawing. The round ball is the soul, and our lives merely extensions of of that being. Temporarily experiencing temporal lives.
But after I dreamed of being shot, I scrapped that theory and decided to go back to believing that dreams are just the weird bits and bloops that help our brains process data. (Yes, I make up my own religion as I go along).
Boring, but less scary.
Now, though, I feel like believing in the sun ray theory again because it means those kids aren’t really dead, they only died here.
I guess you could just say they’re in heaven, but I think heaven is too simple a concept, and makes me think of fluffy clouds and Jesus and other Christian stuff. My theory feels more right in some way, at least to me, because I’m not Christian.
The other thing I can’t stop thinking is why did that woman have so many guns, if she also knew her boy was troubled? At the very least, she would have been concerned about him committing suicide, right? I find that a very confusing hole in the story we know so far. But at least now she doesn’t have to live when the guilt. Like when my dad’s wife killed herself, it was her own parents who provided her the gun, believing her story of “being scared alone in the house” and needing to protect herself. They had to live with that decision from then on. Can you imagine? They blamed my dad of course, for driving her to depression. (A separation was happening). But people don’t kill people. Guns do.
Oh, by the way, my other theory is that heaven and hell do exist, but they exist right here on the same plane of existence at the exact same time, and you can move in and out of them at random. There’s no reward and punishment system, or karma. Things just happen. I haven’t fleshed this one out yet, as you can tell. But I can’t imagine how hell would look or feel any different than what happened to those families in Connecticut.