The amount of tragedy that has occurred in the month of December is incomprehensible. Too many lives have been lost. There were still dreams to be achieved, birthdays to celebrate and memories to be made. One short week ago, the nation was rocked by the devastation in Newtown, Connecticut. I will never be able to grasp why babies were sent to heaven too soon. As a big sister with siblings in elementary school, I cannot begin to think about that and immediately called my siblings when I heard the news.
Tragedy and heartbreak do not choose when to strike. On Tuesday morning, my 45-year-old cousin, a father of two young boys, had a massive heart attack and passed away. He will be missed by many but in his death, all of us should be reminded how short life is. Like all those lives lost in Connecticut, his life was cut short and heaven gained another angel just too soon.
So what do we do now? It is hard to come to terms with all that has happened in just the last week. But in order to move forward and honor these angels’ memories, we must properly grieve. The Metro had a helpful article earlier this week about how to handle such grief and tragedy.
1. Honor your feelings: Most people try to suppress what they feel. However, that is probably the most unhealthy thing to do. It is okay to cry, to be angry or to be alone. Do whatever you have to so your feelings are fully expressed.
2. Set loving intentions: The hardest part for me in such tragedies is that there isn’t anything I can do. I am a doer and always feel the need to fix things. Death and tragedy are not things that can be fixed. But, by setting intentions, prayers or moments of silence for the victims, I am doing something to honor their memory.
3. Be kinder to everyone: Hug your loved ones a little tighter. Call your grandparents. Tell your friends how much you appreciate them. Thank your parents for raising you right. Do something to pay it forward and remind those you care about how important they are to you. Practice being kinder to everyone in your life including strangers.
Ultimately, the best thing we can do to honor these fallen angels is to never forget what happened and to learn from this horrific tragedy. Life has been put into perspective and the little things that are stressed over are now insignificant. May all of these new angels rest in peace and let us never forget them.