NEWTOWN, CT: this is a memorial, but this is not the end


BillySorrentino-SandyHookElementaryMemorialRibbon

As you can tell, this is not an art post this time. And it’ll be a little while before I post one; just need to work through the events that happened Dec. 14th. ‘Get my mind right’, 1st, if you will. This was kind of hard to begin because it is hard to find the right things to say to bring across the feeling of the terrible atrocity that happened, yesterday morning in Newtown, CT, at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Dec. 14, 2012, like all dates when things like this occur, will be a date to remember for always. This happened in my homestate & in the same county (Fairfield) I was born in and raised until 4 yrs old before moving to New Haven County & yrs later to the South. Our family would often go back to the area to visit family. But, this post goes beyond homestate bias, I am just very saddened and my heart is with the deceased and family, friends affected by this. I also post this because, like all, I am tired of all the violence of any type around the world. I, as well, on a smaller scale lost a family member due to gun violence. What happened is often on my mind. I offer my deepest sympathies to all involved. My prayers are with you. This post is for the Newtown, CT victims, their family and friends and for anyone whom has ever suffered a loss due to gun violence. This post is also for anyone having difficulty grasping such situations. (Following this post, there are helpful links on grief support and more, resources about donations, sending condolences & etc. and informational articles.)

UPDATE:

ANOTHER GREAT WAY TO HELP THE PEOPLE OF SANDY HOOK ELEMENTARY SCHOOL IN NEWTOWN, CT: Make Snowflakes: Sandy Hook Elementary School students will be in a new facility when they return to school, and the National PTA and Connecticut PTSA want to turn it into a Winter wonderland decorated with as many unique snowflakes as possible. They are asking kids and adults alike to make the most creative snowflakes they can and to send them by (they must be there by) Jan. 12, to Connecticut PTSA, 60 Connolly Parkway, Building 12, Suite 103, Hamden, CT 06514
Thank you. #SupportSandyHookElementary

Those whom were victimized will be remembered by loved ones and those whom they touched forever. Their lives had boundless reason and purpose. Those who knew them can forever hold on to the privilege of witnessing their dynamic beauty. Each and every one of them had and still have a presence in this world.

Yesterday, as most know by now, was the day 20 children and 8 adults lives were taken (one of the 8 adults being the murderer, whom shot himself). I have updated this, today. Before I did not want to type the shooter’s name, stating the reason being I didn’t want to give his name power as he did a very weak thing. Some may say it is catharsis and apart of grasping the situation and of healing to speak the name of the shooter and they are actually right, I realized. His name is attached to a person whom has no power over God and has no power over anyone in Newtown or the world, so I decided to type it. Adam Lanza. Don’t allow a name and the person attached to it have power over you. Reading or typing his name does not give him or his name any power as he did a very weak thing. You are stronger than him and his name.                                                                                                                               

(Yes, what he did was weak. We all know that. With shooting (using weapons owned by his mother, Nancy Lanza; one firearm of which is something only military should possess-an AR-15-type rifle also known in the US military as an M16). He snuffed out the lives of his very own mother at home (an assistant teacher at Sandy Hook), six adults and 20 children. Then he took his own life, which only compounded his cowardice. He was too cowardly to control his anger (whatever the source of it was) and too cowardly to remain on this earth to face punishment. But he has a far greater punishment than any he could receive on earth. He cut short innocent, beautiful lives and culminated it with a suicide (if you know about God’s Word and repentance, you know where I am going…). He did not even have a chance to repent for such a heinous act and so his spirit is lost. Satan gained that one soul. Still, as we send prayer up for those who knew the victims, we should also keep the shooter’s family & friends in our prayers, too. They did not ask for this to happen. Evil originates with Satan, the father of evil & rebellion. He used this young man as a tool, seeing that his weak will was useable. And even though I say that, that gives this man still no excuse for what he did. Noone MADE him do it: he did not use the self-control God enables us all with at birth. And his brother said that he suffered from some mental issues: but that is not a complete excuse, either, as if you read up on all that happened you will realize he planned and took steps. So he was in his right mind enough to know what he was doing.)

As I said above the father of evil did claim one spirit (the perpetrator), but he did not gain the rest. The spirits of such awesome, great adults and bright, beautiful children…be assured that they are safe and death is NOT the end. In life, these wonderful people had so much purpose and promise and their spirits are just carrying that on to another level; they are on stand-by for much better things!

Sorrow is normal. Grief is an excruciating reaction, but it can be alleviated with the warmth of healing; of the emotions calming. Not everyday will be so easy, some will be easier than others, but please be faithful to know YOU WILL HEAL. Hang in there… It is a process, but you will make it through. I am hoping this writing and helpful links below (like grievance support, for ex.) will be helpful. The first thought that mourners can remember is this: God is the Creator of life, He loves life; so much so that He will allow it to last forever one day. He was NOT the cause of such things. People use their free will more than they do His Will (therein lies the problem). God knows the number of every pore, hair, muscle fiber, etc. of every person He creates. He knows every smile, every type of laughter, every movement, every heartbeat, every breath of every person He creates. He knows the dreams and potential of every person He creates. He created the deceased with an absolute love; yes He loves life. He made all of us with that depth of detail and love. Wow. I do believe in God as do so many others. (And I guess here is where I touch on a very sticky subject:  theory of unbelief doesn’t erase a God that so many believers have personally experienced and have sought comfort from for millenium upon millenium; & yet if you are an unbeliever reading this, I assure you that God does love you and He does care more than you realize…while I will not force you to do so, I only suggest you seek His comfort; He’s waiting for you). I do believe in a God who loves us that much. When the 26 people were victimized, they did not really leave their loved ones; they were not really lost

…I pray that any readers whose loved ones were taken in this tragedy and whom have deceased loved ones period will find comfort in this true thought: the body is the shell that contains our TRUE living self-the SPIRIT. The spirit does NOT die. It leaves the body and awaits a brighter, better day to come. It is coming and there will be a restored joy and an end to all that is wrong. So evil still did NOT win. It lost. Evil can NEVER have the spirits of the innocent. God is over all and He restores what has been taken in one form or other, sooner or later. Please be rest assured in that. I pray that until that great day, that the loved ones of the deceased will remember that their dear ones are but waiting. I pray that the family & friends of those lovely adults and vibrant children will rememeber to lean on God’s strength for a level of comfort only He can provide. Yes, people provide comfort, but God can provide full peace and strength. Be strong, people of  Newtown, CT!! As the days go on, yes you will not forget, but you will HEAL. Gradually remember your joy & remember that smile that lights up your face. Don’t allow your capacity for joy to be stolen. Keep restoring yourselves with prayer and keep being positive. All is well; all of the world grieves with you, loves you and sympathizes greatly. Most of all God & Jesus  definitely love you very, very much.

Isaiah 41:10 ‘Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’

Matthew 5:4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.’

Matthew 11:28 Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.’

Psalm 119:50 This is my comfort in my affliction, That Thy word has revived me.’

Psalm 18:28 For Thou dost light my lamp; The LORD my God illumines my darkness.’

Faith and hope are powerful. Amen.

  • LIST OF THE PASSED ON (They are not gone, but waiting; so until that great day, rest well bright stars…):

CHILDREN

Charlotte Bacon, 2/22/06, female (age 6)

Daniel Barden, 9/25/05, male (age 7)

Olivia Engel, 7/18/06, female (age 6)

Josephine Gay, 12/11/05, female (age 7)

Ana M. Marquez-Greene, 04/04/06, female (age 6)

Dylan Hockley, 03/08/06, male (age 6)

Madeleine F. Hsu, 07/10/06, female (age 6)

Catherine V. Hubbard, 06/08/06, female (age 6)

Chase Kowalski, 10/31/05, male (age 7)

Jesse Lewis, 06/30/06, male (age 6)

James Mattioli, 03/22/06, male (age 6)

Grace McDonnell, 11/04/05, female (age 7)

Emilie Parker, 05/12/06, female (age 6)

Jack Pinto, 05/06/06, male (age 6)

Noah Pozner, 11/20/06, male (age 6)

Caroline Previdi, 09/07/06, female (age 6)

Jessica Rekos, 05/10/06, female (age 6)

Avielle Richman, 10/17/06, female (age 6)

Benjamin Wheeler, 9/12/06, male (age 6)

Allison N. Wyatt, 07/03/06, female (age 6)

ADULTS

Rachel Davino, 7/17/83, female (age 29)

Dawn Hochsprung, 06/28/65, female (age 47)

Anne Marie Murphy, 07/25/60, female (age 52)

Lauren Russeau, 1982, female (age 29)

Mary Sherlach, 02/11/56, female (age 56)

Victoria Soto, 11/04/85, female (age 27)

HERE IS A LIST OF IMPORTANT LINKS:

  • EVERY LIFE WAS PRECIOUS & SOME OF THOSE LIVES, ADULTS & CHILDREN, BECAME HEROES (these may not be all of the heroes, but I included whom I know of here):

Dawn Hochsprung: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/12/15/dawn-hochsprung-sandy-hook-elementary-s-heroic-principal.html

Mary Sherlach: http://www.wtnh.com/dpp/news/fairfield_cty/newtown-mary-sherlach-56-school-psychologist

Kaitlin Roig: http://now.msn.com/kaitlin-roig-sandy-hook-teacher-recounts-saving-her-students-during-shooting

Maryrose Kristopik: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/14/elementary-school-shootin_n_2302498.html

Victoria Soto: http://www.people.com/people/package/article/0,,20656736_20657003,00.html

Anne Marie Murphy: http://newyork.newsday.com/news/nation/connecticut-shooting-sandy-hook-victim-anne-marie-murphy-mourned-by-katonah-parish-1.4339113

Various self-less heroes: http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/12/15/15927932-lives-saved-by-teachers-custodian-and-even-children-in-connecticut-school-shooting?fb_action_ids=4813449664933&fb_action_types=og.recommends&fb_ref=AddThis_Blogs&fb_source=aggregation&fb_aggregation_id=288381481237582

And, of course, all responders to the scene (law enforcement, medics and more) are also heroes whom would humbly tell you they aren’t…

  • MORE INFORMATION ABOUT EACH OF THE PERISHED AND GETTING A SMALL GLIMPSE INTO THEIR AWESOME PERSONALITIES:

http://todaynews.today.com/_news/2012/12/16/15944642-slain-hero-teachers-family-she-loved-those-students-more-than-anything?lite

  • LIST OF SERVICES & VIGILS FOR NEWTOWN VICTIMS:

http://www.nhregister.com/articles/2012/12/15/news/doc50cca28b67c95213898938.txt

  • THE POSTAL SERVICE HAS ESTABLISHED A PO BOX TO SEND CONDOLENCES TO THOSE AFFECTED:

Messages of Condolence for Newtown

PO Box 3700

Newtown, CT 06470

  • YOU CAN SIGN THESE GUESTBOOKS WITH YOUR KIND THOUGHTS:

http://www.legacy.com/guestbooks/ctpost/guestbook.aspx?n=connecticut-shooting-victims&pid=161707001

http://www.tributes.com/show/Connecticut-School-Shooting-Victims-94901773

  • MORE VERSES TO COMFORT (for anyone grieving around the world):

http://voices.yahoo.com/15-comforting-bible-verses-grief-5613206.html?cat=34

  • HOW YOU CAN HELP NEWTOWN, CT VICTIMS’ FAMILIES (these are just a couple of many):

http://www.denverpost.com/breakingnews/ci_22199597/connecticut-school-shooting-how-help-victims-families

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/50208652/ns/local_news-hartford_ct/

http://richfield.patch.com/articles/how-to-help-families-affected-by-newtown-ct-school-shooting

http://helloladies.com/2012/12/3-ways-to-donate-to-newtown-families-3-resources-for-talking-to-kids-about-tragedy/

http://www.lilsugar.com/Ways-Support-Sandy-Hook-Elementary-School-Community-26322354

  • GRIEF SUPPORT (this is offered to everyone in any grievous circumstance):

SAMHSA: http://www.samhsa.gov/trauma/

Hello Grief: http://www.hellogrief.org/topics/faith-and-religion/

Griefshare: http://www.griefshare.org/

  • RETIRED SPECIAL EDUCATION TEACHER EMPLOYS HIS BULLDOG TO HELP WITH THE HEALING PROCESS:

http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/12/15/15932029-conn-school-shooting-bulldog-and-owner-hope-to-heal-newtown-one-hug-at-a-time?lite

  • A PRAYER VIGIL FOR THE COMMUNITY AT WHICH PRESIDENT OBAMA SPOKE (Dec. 16, 2012):

http://news.msn.com/us/obama-at-newtown-vigil-us-will-have-to-change

  • MOMENT OF SILENCE FOR SANDY HOOK ELEMENTARY (Dec. 21, 2012):

http://abcnews.go.com/US/sandy-hook-shooting-moment-silence-victims/story?id=18034034

An extra note: Governor Malloy of CT, President Obama and other leaders, authorites have been handling all of this in a fine way. I pray that they will continue to be strong.

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