A Time to Heal…
I don’t mean to start the week off on a “down” note, but I simply can’t bring myself to sit here and type about Tabata training or the benefits of cardio in the wake of the horrific tragedy that broke the collective hearts of our nation.
I was off from work and enjoying an afternoon with one of my best friends, Elisa, when she received an alert from her children’s school about a school shooting in Connecticut. She was instantly reduced to tears. I was in utter shock. A quick search on my iPhone revealed what had happened. When I saw the unimaginable events unfolded in Newtown, a beautiful town I remember from my days working as a reporter and living in southwestern Connecticut, I instantly thought of my former News 12 Connecticut colleagues who would be reporting from the horrific scene. As the hours passed and officials released more information, only one word kept coming into my mind: why?
I hugged Elisa’s children – her daughter is one of the two Goddaughters I’m blessed to have in my life – a little tighter when I saw them after school that day. I texted some of my friends who have children and asked them to hug their kids for me, too. I thought of all the parents suffering an unfathomable heartbreak. I thought of the brave adults who died trying to save 20 innocent little lives. I thought of all the families whose lives would never be the same following another dark day in American history.
I spent my Saturday tuned into the news and felt guilty when it became too much to bear and turned it off to play music or run errands. I made a point of getting to my Saturday morning workout to sweat out some of the confusion and anger I felt inside my mind, my heart and my soul. I’m not sitting here saying a good workout is going to “fix” a broken heart when tragedy strikes. Each of us must deal with grief in our own way. This experience, however, reminded me how exercise has helped me through some of life’s difficult moments and boosted my the strength to face the reality of those moments with a bit more clarity and energy.
On Sunday morning I found myself sitting in a packed Church at 10 am, which happens to be the family Mass. As I watched the steady stream of parents walking down the aisle looking for seats, holding the hands of their little ones, tears filled my eyes. Many of these children mirrored the same ages as those who lost their lives as well as the ones who survived, only to have had their innocence taken away so senselessly in Newtown. I wasn’t expecting the homily to deliver an answer for why a higher power would allow this kind of tragedy to take place. I was just looking for a quiet place to focus my energy on asking that those who need help find comfort any way they can. I didn’t leave Church feeling like a new person, but like my Saturday morning workout, it helped me start the day on a better note.
As we start another work week, my thoughts and prayers remain with the Newtown community along with those parents still struggling with how to help their own children deal with the aftermath. Once again, our strength as a nation has been tested. Yet, my hope comes from the reminder that we’ve experienced dark days before, and our spirit wasn’t broken. Whatever gives you peace this week, I hope you embrace it…along with all the special people in your life.
Posted on December 17, 2012, in Fitness and tagged Exercise & Grief, Faith, Laura DeAngelis, Newtown Shooting. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.
Laura, thank you for your words this morning. After my wife and I watched the prayer service last night, I couldn’t help but cry. Since Friday, like most parents, I can’t get rid of this knot in my stomach. How could this happen? There are noi answers. All we can do is pray for those left behind, that God gives them some peace and knowledge that their loved ones are safe in the arms of our Lord.
Hi there Dr. Bob, Thank you for your kind words. There are simply no words or actions that can rid our minds and hearts of this awful event. There is comfort to be found in community and prayer and I am grateful for all those who’ve offered kind words of support via text, email and all the social media outlets. Wishing you and yours peace during a difficult time.
Wow very heart felt thanks for share Laura. No matter how strong I get I will never be able to lift the weight I feel in my heart for the families and community of Newtown.
Thank you for your kind and heartfelt words. As you said, this is a strength you cannot gain at the gym – the only strength we can cling to is that from friends, family and community. Wishing you peace on this difficult Monday.