Heart of a Southern Woman

A snapshot of life one blog post at a time.

Tragic Deaths in Connecticut of Young Children and Educators, Where Were the Angels?

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     Today in the United States, in a small northeastern state,Connecticut, a terrible event took place. A deranged gunman (he’d have to be deranged in my mind, to do what he did!) killed his mother at home, then apparently proceeded to the elementary school where she was a teacher, and shot and killed 20 children, ages 5 -10, and six adults! He then killed himself before the police could even get to him! 
       Like almost everyone I talked to, I was in shock at the horror of this–at the pain for these parents who sent their children off to school this morning never dreaming they’d seen and hugged them for the last time! 
      I found myself overwhelmed with emotion and had to turn off the television news at one point, afraid I would have a heart attack if I watched more! I cried, but nothing like those mothers, fathers, and siblings did I’m sure! But what surprised me was how angry I got! I was angry at the angels and God! I thought, “Where were you!?  Why didn’t you protect those children?!!  Here I am writing, advocating on your behalf, and now …do you exist or not?!  Good Lord, how could you have let this happen?”  The Lord will have to forgive me, well, I hope he will, because he designed me!  I was mad and I was taking it out on Him and the angels! 
    There was a selfish side to this, it certainly made my experiences look trite I thought, or maybe false, if these children, and others could be so brutally murdered at such a young age! 
    We all know that many people don’t believe in angels anyway. For that matter, many people don’t believe in God. I do, and I still do of course, but I dont’ understand! Not that we were meant to. We know God is awesome, that his abilities to create are so beyond our knowledge and even our ability to imagine! 
    In looking for help coping with my emotions, I did many things! I called my daughter and talked to my own five year old grandson. It was irrational, but I just had to know he and Katy,age one, were all right! Of course they were, and it helped calm me. I wished I could hug them. I talked to good friends and family, in the neighborhood, on facebook, and on the phone! Sharing relieved some of the stress and I began to regain my perspective.  But I knew the parents of the kids couldn’t do that so easily. I knew it would  be months, years even, before they regained any perspective probably. I wondered if I should continue posting the angel stories I believed in so much, and want to share with you. It seemed almost mean to say, my angel saved me, if the angels didn’t save those innocent little children! I’ve always thought it is wrong to say, “But for the grace of God, I would be dead from that car accident!” or whatever befalls us. If we are alive by the grace of God, then that implies that those who die in automobile accidents, fires, bombs, whatever, don’t receive the Grace of God! I do NOT believe that!  If the angels saved me and my daughter, why would they do that and not save those precious children!? Why? 

      I know lots of the reasons Christians, Jews, and other people of faith, explain tragedy. My first introduction to some of this thinking came about 1981 when Rabbi Harold Kushner first came out with his now famous book (and still available) When Bad Things Happen to Good People”.  That book was very influential for me at that time as I was searching. My mother had died recently, we had moved out of state, I had become an elder in my church, and as a counselor, I also led workshops among other things, for women seeking a stronger relationship with God through prayer. Some people say God sends us to fulfill a certain role in this world, to be the homeless drunk sitting on the corner, to be the child who dies young. The idea is that it is supposed to teach the rest of us a lesson in sympathy, charity, protectiveness…who knows?  Some experts even say that we volunteer to serve God by accepting these tragic roles, we just forget during the birthing process. That’s actually a pretty  interesting concept to put some thought and study into.  
    There is another common “expert” concept that I have often read, and that is that at the moment of impact, the moment we die, we do not feel pain. I have read time and time again that our soul, our life energy, is immediately surrounded by white light, and angels of such intense and pure love, that we cannot imagine. On a day like today, that is at least a little comforting. If you have ever read The Shack by William Paul Young, you know the all encompassing love I’m talking about! I had never felt so loved as I did by my angels and God when I finished reading that book! 

      On facebook today, a police officer from Memphis, Tennessee posted a very  interesting poster and comment. He told us that his coworker, a woman police officer, died this morning also, violently, about an hour before the children. He said she was a nurturing soul, and he  wondered if she’d been called home to
be there for the children, to welcome them, to hug them, and to help them feel safe.Wow, that’s pretty powerful stuff!                 
 Who knows, only God.
     As great as all of these ideas are, and I do believe they, or parts of each, are true,  but most scientists would not believe! They want proof! Who can prove an intanagible belief? No one, but you know what? That no longer bothers me. For I believe, I have faith beyond measure, and I know what I experience is true. I just don’t know why it doesn’t happen to everyone! And it pains me–my heart aches for all the children and the adults killed today! When I get to heaven, I’m going to ask God,”why”, first thing!  (I talk a good story, I’m sure I’d be quaking in my boots, all meek and mild, at first!)
     What am I saying? Only that today has been a tragic day in the United States! I am so glad to see our President Obama  trying to bring the country together to console these families. Nothing and no one can help them tonight of course, but he helped me, and I am thankful.  Have I lost my faith in God, heaven’s no!  Have I lost my faith in angels, not even that, although it shook and quaked this morning!  I do not understand, but I am not meant to, we live in God’s design, according to His plan. I am a living example of that myself. Doctors at Duke University Medical Center said I could not live more than 5 years or so with the condition of my heart. It will have been 14 years soon! God’s time, God’s plan. Do you believe it? I’d like to know. Please leave a comment and share your thoughts.

               
     
     

Author: Helen Holshouser

Old enough to enjoy life, I am a Red Hatter, grandmother, gardener, and amateur genealogist. I am a retired clinical psychologist, master's level, who is disabled with heart disease, but having fun with family and friends. Married over 40 years, I have two grown daughters and three grandchildren. I have learned that grandchildren provide a joy one never knew existed---writing feeds my soul, gardening is therapy, and genealogy research makes me feel like a detective!

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