"Terror starts at home"

Both of my parents were school teachers for 35-40 years each. Never once, not even after Columbine, did I think to ask them if they were afraid to go to work. Now I'm wondering if they ever were -- if they ever looked around their classrooms and worked out a plan for if anything horrible was happening -- "Where can I hide? How many students can fit there? Do these windows open? Who's the bravest kid in each of my classes? ... who's the unhappiest kid in each of my classes?"

I was stressed about work this week.  I was stressed about chores at home that need to get done.  

I don't have kids, but I understood when I saw that one of my Facebook friends, who lives here in Indiana, left work in the middle of the day today to grab her toddler out of daycare... just because she wanted to hold him.  Her son was in no danger at daycare, but the people at an elementary school in a sleepy Connecticut town assumed they were in no danger either.  

At work today, we all stopped for a while to watch real-time news online.  We still went to our meetings, sent our emails, etc., but for about ten minutes, we were just silent and sick to our stomachs.  

These were children.  I first said "innocent children," but everyone who is a victim of one of these acts is innocent.  I don't want to take away from the adults today that were victims -- parents, educators... servants to our society... and in the end, all we can ask is "why?"  The cliche exists for a reason, I suppose.

As an atheist, there are times when you wish you could pray -- then you'd actually feel like you're doing something.  But also as an atheist, you wonder how people can believe in a god at a time like this.  

I don't really know what else to say.  


  1. Although the question is too complex for a comment box, I will say that though many people question how you can believe in God at a time like this, I would also offer the statement that it is times like this that God whom I need most--who offers hope and comfort in sometimes a very scary world.

    That said, I can't stop alternating between crying and wanting to throw up.

    1. Jeff (I'm assuming you are the Jeff, and there is only one, that I know in real life) -- I am so glad that you have a belief that comforts you at this time. I am not one of those people that is angry at your god, or anything like that. It's just one of those things that comes up for atheists in a time of tragedy.

      Hug your kids, hug Alisha. Our physical reactions to the news today are identical. I don't want to come across as saying that your god is bad -- again, it's good that you have something to comfort you.

    2. Actually that was me and apparently Jeff had been using my computer. But either way, right?

    3. Totally, either way! You can hug Alisha too.

  2. I was never, ever so happy for my daughter to miss school because she has an ear infection. I actually was out and left her at home, but left my meetings to go snuggle her.
    I have survivor's guilt. I feel like I haven't done enough in the world to reign in senseless acts of violence or support those with mental illness or tell those around me how much they matter - how much they mean to me and everyone else in their lives. I can't stop crying. I just - somethings are just too awful.

  3. You just can't help feeling empty at situations like this.
    I was moved to tears earlier today at this horrible story, and have been feeling incredibly numb ever since. I don't have children, but this is just horrible. None of it makes sense.


  4. God is the only thing I can believe in in a time like this...and pray is the only thing I can do.
    the whole world needs prayers...such a tragedy...cannot even comprehend...