We Do Not Sleep

Weeping cherry tree began to bloom, 六義園(Tokyo,...Ella Wheeler Wilcox most enduring work was “Solitude”, which contains the lines: “Laugh, and the world laughs with you; Weep, and you weep alone”. Not this time. This time the world or at least most of those who have heard about the tragedy in Newtown Connecticut are weeping as well. This one hits home with a gut punch to everyone and most especially those who have children. It is unimaginable anyone could walk into a school and shoot small children as well as any faculty that got in the way. If this murderer wanted attention couldn’t there have been another way?

Despite all of the ongoing interviews, psychoanalysis and media pundits I don’t think any of us can understand how this could happen. Oh sure those so motivated to never let a serious crisis to go to waste are quick to advance the idea of additional gun control laws, as if by some series of well-intentioned law the bad people of the world will relinquish their desire and fulfillment of evil by the sudden further restriction of firearms. Advancing theories that the gun is the answer is about as workable as suggesting we only allow well-informed electorate the vote. I like the idea but it isn’t obtainable and my intentions to keep us from voting for incompetent people aren’t going to happen.

I’m reminded of my own children and grandchildren when I hear of these things. I can only begin to imagine the sorrow to those closest to these children, teachers and faculty. How unfathomable can it be to send or drop off your child in the morning only to find a few hours later your worst nightmare has become reality. I’m at a loss for words to express my heart-felt condolences to those tragically connected at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14th. I share this poem in my humble efforts.

Do not stand at my grave and weep

Do not stand at my grave and weep;
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.

When you awaken in the morning’s hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there, I did not die.

— Mary Frye —