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Grieving for Newtown, and Ways to Help

heavier things

My heart has not yet unclenched.  A fog has settled in on Connecticut, and it is thick with sorrow.  At grocery stores and while running errands, everyone is quiet, somber.  Flags wave at half-staff, strangers wipe tears, and everyone walks a little bit more slowly.  My girls are oblivious, and their laughter is loud as they try on sunglasses and tiaras while the cashier and I quietly exchange money and new sweaters.  I’ve lit candles on my front porch, and as I look across the road, I see flickering on my neighbors’ porches as well.  We are all mourning.

My Facebook news feed tells me that other people have been able to think of other things.  I see baked cheesecakes and date nights and martinis at bars and parties.  Brands are still emailing me their pre-Christmas discounts.  I don’t blame them.  I’ve attempted to distract myself with conversations and mindless internet surfing, but my mind is not easily fooled.  I haven’t really been able to do anything else.  My grieving heart has not let me.

I’ve emailed people I work with and told them that I simply cannot write humorous copy or a lighthearted article or a funny blog post.  I cannot.

Instead, I’m doing all of the very typical things that people are scoffing at online.  All three girls haven’t been feeling well, so they’re piled on the couch under blankets and favorite bears and dolls, and I’m just staring at them.  So grateful that they’re here, so devastated that twenty families a few towns from me have been robbed of these moments, and so scared of the future.

Remmy’s getting over a virus, so I kept her home from preschool on Friday.  Had I not, I would have been another parent racing off to school to grab her child and lay two eyes on her and hug her.  I never want to send her to school again, as unreasonable as that sounds.  Jack and I spent the weekend at home, hiding our tears from our children, unable to do much more than mourn and process.  We’ve attempted to distract ourselves with movies or even funny gifs, and the truth is.. we cannot.  And I think… maybe we should not.

There is a time to mourn, and this is that time.  We’ll weep with those who weep.  We’ll wring our hands and pray for the families of the victims, the survivors who witnessed so much evil, the first responders who have gained so much heartache, our nation as people try to figure out what the hell happened and how to prevent it from happening again.  (As I’m posting this, I’m reading news that a threat was made against another Connecticut school in Bristol, and the police have made an arrest.  Editing to add: All Ridgefield schools are in lockdown.)

In the meantime, as we all sit and wonder when and how and if all of us can heal from this, I’ve tried to compile a list of ways that we can help. They seem wildly inadequate, but maybe through our words and our actions, the people of Newtown can feel a little bit of comfort and a little bit of love from all of us who are sad with them.

How to help:

I can’t imagine being one of these families and worrying about finances – time taken off to grieve, meals, funeral expenses, flying across the country so the deceased can be buried next to great-grandparents.  I know some families have funds set up for them to alleviate these expenses.

Click here for the Emilie Parker Fund.
Click here for Noah Pozner’s site.
Click here for the Friends of the Engel family Fund.
– Jack wrote a song available for free download, with instructions on how to directly send a monetary donation to  the Sandy Hook School Support Fund.
– The Newtown Parent Connection is committing to bring in extra counselors for the community.
– Thanks to Lisa Stephens for the link to the My Sandy Hook Family Fund.

Click here to donate to the Sandy Hook School Memorial Scholarship Fund at the University of Connecticut which will will cover college costs for any students who currently attend the elementary school, as well as siblings of those killed in the assault and dependents of teachers and other adults who also lost their lives, who are accepted to attend the University in the future.

Editing to add: Thank you so much for the Amazon.com gift cards I’ve received thus far.  I have delivered everything that has been sent to me.  I’ll close off the opportunity to give in this manner for now, as more funds have been set up and there is now a variety of ways to help families.  I’m just hoping to streamline assistance for the families.  I am moved by the generosity of others.  Thank you again. 

I do not wish to detract from the support of these families.  I realize that there’s some good faith involved when donating money via Paypal to a stranger or sending along an e-gift card.  If you’re concerned that all of the above is a scam, then please pass just on by.

I understand that many of us aren’t in a position to donate, and that is totally okay.  I really believe in my heart that the people that can, will, and that these families will feel the love and support of an entire planet.  We can pray for them, spread the word on how to help, and maybe do a good deed and share some love and kindness.

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95 Comments

  • Reply Alicia December 17, 2012 at 9:06 am

    Thank you Roo! EXACTLY how I feel. How are we supposed to move on and celebrate Christmas when well I just don’t feel it anymore…I don’t know how we will move on….

    • Reply Roo December 17, 2012 at 11:10 am

      Totally. I know a lot of families in Newtown are pulling down their Christmas lights. Seems so frivolous, but I think somewhere in there it’s important to hold tight to family and the true meaning of the holidays.

  • Reply Jessica December 17, 2012 at 9:10 am

    Really beautiful Roo… You put into words what I couldn’t… nearly exactly.

    Thank you for helping and sharing and just being real. xoxo

    • Reply Roo December 17, 2012 at 11:10 am

      Thanks, Jessica. xoxoxo

  • Reply Tina @ Life Without Pink December 17, 2012 at 9:17 am

    Beautiful Roo. It’s just unthinkable and hard to wrap our minds around this. Poor sweet babies.

    • Reply Roo December 17, 2012 at 11:11 am

      I know, so hard. :(

  • Reply Danielle December 17, 2012 at 9:17 am

    Roo, you are amazing! To be very honest, I was so close to keeping Lore home today, but I thought the best way to honor those no longer with us was to carry on. That does not mean that I do not grieve immensely for the families, I do. I was so incredibly nauseous this morning as I pulled away from her school; thinking of all the parents that no longer will have that experience. It truly breaks my heart!

    • Reply Roo December 17, 2012 at 11:12 am

      Totally proud of you for sending her. Remmy’s still on the mend, but I think we’ll send her tomorrow. The class is caroling and it just seems like little children singing might minister to all of us who are hurting.

  • Reply Krissy December 17, 2012 at 9:24 am

    I feel the same way. I just can’t get passed how little they were. I guess the biggest thing that weighs on me is….why? Why those children? Why any children? Why those teachers? I have never wanted to grieve more for someone I didn’t know. I’m so very sorry for them.

    • Reply Roo December 17, 2012 at 11:13 am

      So many questions to which we just don’t have the answers. :(

  • Reply Shannan December 17, 2012 at 9:36 am

    Gift card sent to your e-mail address. Thanks for doing this Roo…

    • Reply Roo December 17, 2012 at 11:14 am

      Thank you SO much Shannan. It’s in my inbox and I’ll be passing it along.

  • Reply Pride in Life | How to help December 17, 2012 at 10:43 am

    […] from NiceGirlNotes wrote a great post about how to help; click here for the post.  That’s all I wanted to share […]

  • Reply Karla T. December 17, 2012 at 10:02 am

    Roo,
    I was driving through this town on Friday enroute to Boston. Not understanding why the traffic was so heavy, I pulled over and checked the internet. The impact of what happened didn’t hit me until I was in my hotel room in Boston and turned the TV on. It was then that a wave of terror and overwhelming tears enveloped me. While my own children were home safe in PA, the sympathy that I felt for the families was beyond anything I have ever known. Later that night, I found out that a friend has two kids in that school. One child’s classroom was right next to the one where the horrible incident took place. Thinking about how that will forever impact him. How one begins to pick up the pieces…

    • Reply Roo December 17, 2012 at 11:56 am

      Oh gosh. I’m praying for the survivors, too. Too many children saw what they never should see, and too many first responders have taken on so much heartache.

  • Reply Amber S. December 17, 2012 at 10:05 am

    Thank you for this. I’ve spent the weekend seeing my 6-year old in each of those children’s photographs, myself in each of their mother’s faces, my kids’ teachers in each of those heroic teachers, and my town in their now devastated town. I too stared at them more than usual, hugged them tigher, told them I loved them more, and will make sure to hug their teachers this week, too. Our whole country mourns with the families affected by this terrible tragedy.

    • Reply Roo December 17, 2012 at 2:26 pm

      You’re spot on.. we just… see our families in theirs. It hurts.

  • Reply Ingrid December 17, 2012 at 10:05 am

    Thank you Roo, you are such a good person. This was beautifully written. I am heartbroken for everyone.

    • Reply Roo December 17, 2012 at 2:18 pm

      You are so sweet. Thank you, Ingrid. I’m with you in being heartbroken.

  • Reply karen December 17, 2012 at 10:12 am

    in all seriousness, you forgot to mention gun laws. people are stronger in groups. americans, please speak up and let your congress people know you are in for STRICTER GUN LAWS. hand in your guns and put focus and energy into some serious CHANGE. and do it now, while the anger and sorrow is still burning inside of you.

    • Reply amy December 17, 2012 at 10:56 am

      ??? People who want guns will get guns… or find some other way to accomplish the heinous deeds they have in their sick minds. Mental health might not be the key to ending all of this but taking away the right to bear arms certainly won’t help at all either.

      • Reply karen December 17, 2012 at 11:21 am

        i said more strict gun laws…not taking away the right to bear arms. why should a regular civilian have a gun that shoots ONE HUNDRED bullets in seconds? really? wake up america and get over it.
        i’m not saying by having MUCH STRONGER laws, that this will never happen again..but by not having as many weapons available to the people it will be less likely to happen. one person is enough. right?
        I write with anger. get over your pride america!
        seeing the massacre of so many innocent children and caring teachers should CHANGE america. CHANGE SHOULD HAPPEN NOW! don’t wait for the politicians to act…get out there and use your voice. don’t just feel sorry and down and wait for the next tragedy!!!

        • Reply Candace December 17, 2012 at 12:27 pm

          I honestly agree about stricter laws, that no one needs a semiautomatic rifle, but you need to take this rant and your abuse of the caps lock button elsewhere.

          • karen December 17, 2012 at 1:10 pm

            sorry that i came across as abusive. I did not mean so. I am just a mother with young children who is angry and scared with heightened emotions. And if i can’t have my “rant” here, then where? and if not now, then when?

      • Reply CT Granny December 17, 2012 at 12:28 pm

        Anything we can do to make machine guns more difficult to obtain is a step in the right direction. When our founding fathers established the right to bear arms, there were no AK47’s. Most civilized nations require that weapons of that type be kept in Armory’s. We need to do the same. The gunman was seriously disturbed and entered the school firing. No armed individual in the school would have had a chance.

    • Reply Kathryn December 17, 2012 at 11:10 am

      The gun laws in Connecticut worked. He tried to purchase a gun, but was turned away because he wouldn’t agree to a background check or the waiting period. What did he do? He stole guns that were purchased legally. People who want to commit these acts will find a way, as terrifying as that thought is. There is so much more to this issue than simply making it harder to purchase a gun. There are mental health issues at hand, specifically recognizing warning signs and access to care.

    • Reply Roo December 17, 2012 at 11:31 am

      No, I didn’t, because I personally don’t think that discussion has a place in this right now.

      • Reply Meagan B. December 17, 2012 at 2:14 pm

        Well said Roo. Now, so close to the tragedy, is not the time to allow our anger to do our talking. Or to allow our frustration to help us up on to our soapbox. Now is a time to come together, not be divisive. Hug your children, pray for those who have to put their babies in the ground this week. Enjoy your Christmas as best you can and if, in the new year, you still feel passionately then get your voice out there. Just… Not yet.

      • Reply Abbey December 17, 2012 at 10:59 pm

        Totally agree. Very well articulated from the very beginning of this post and all comments in between…

  • Reply Lynn @ Our Useful Hands December 17, 2012 at 10:30 am

    Letting mine go this morning was so hard. I walked alongside a big burly bearded faced dad who started crying as we walked back to the parking lot and all I could do was pat him on the back. I will help where I can. Thanks for the links mama.

    Hug them babies tight.

    My best, Lynn

    • Reply Roo December 17, 2012 at 2:29 pm

      Gosh… we’re all feeling it, aren’t we…

  • Reply Lynzy December 17, 2012 at 10:31 am

    I, too, live in CT and will say that it has been very difficult for this state to overcome what has happened. Everyone’s hearts are too heavy to speak, to enjoy life, to move on…

    We have been collecting teddy bears for the little ones and plan to attend another vigil this evening. We remain in mourning and I hope that there is some kind of peace that we can all come to, eventually….
    <3
    Lynzy

    • Reply Roo December 17, 2012 at 2:31 pm

      Hi Lynzy, yes, totally agree. It’s as if the weather is reflecting how we all feel.

  • Reply erica December 17, 2012 at 10:37 am

    Roo, you, along with Jack & his beautiful song, have such a way of capturing our hearts & feelings during this time. Thank you, thank you, thank you for taking the time to just pause…share your heart & grief & for being so genuinely you. And for sharing ways to give & help, that’s something positive we can do with our pain and compassion. Xoxox

  • Reply Lisa Stephens December 17, 2012 at 10:38 am

    https://www.everribbon.com/ribbon/view/10076

    This is a website set up by parents in Newtown for those families who lost a child that horrible day. Please consider adding this to the resources links. Thank you!

  • Reply nancy shirley December 17, 2012 at 10:44 am

    Beautifully written. I am so sad for our beautiful state- I came here as a young bride many years ago. It seemed like heaven on earth when I moved to CT and I still feel that way. Our beautiful state and those poor families. Thanks for posting ways to help. I went to Milford’s vigil last night, it helped to be near others. Take care- Nancy

  • Reply Jess December 17, 2012 at 10:45 am

    Nothing is the same for me and I am not sure it will be. Thank you for this post.

  • Reply Stacey December 17, 2012 at 10:50 am

    The flags in our small town in Alabama are at half-staff as well. So many prayers are being sent up! God will prevail.

  • Reply Stephanie R. December 17, 2012 at 10:50 am

    Hi Roo.
    Thank you for taking the time for posting this. I live in NYC, and I haven’t been able to think of anything else the last couple of days. I am not a mother, but I am an aunt… to three beautiful little boys that I love as if they were my own. The two eldest are 7 and 6, the exact same ages as the precious angels that lost their lives on Friday. I’m heartbroken and like you, have not been able to do much else but mourn and pray. Thank you again for writing about this and the ways we can help.

  • Reply Leah Butler December 17, 2012 at 11:56 am

    I have been ignoring the media attention given to the shooter. I have looked at the pictures of the children who were killed, cried over their sweet, innocent faces and mourned for their parents. But I have no answers, no ways to make this not happen again. I just have sorrow that it happened at all. I just hold onto my daughter and am thankful that I have her to hold. I have helped in my small way and hope that it does some good.

  • Reply Amandelin December 17, 2012 at 11:08 am

    I feel the same way. My social media feeds are filled with people who have moved on. There are complaints about iTunes and job interviews and friends being jerks, but I can’t stop crying every time I think about it, which is often. And then I had to drop my first-grader off at school today, and I felt like leaving him there was a betrayal, somehow.

    I’ve spent the entire day tense and clenched with fear that Something Will Happen to him and it will be my fault for leaving him there even when it felt so wrong. I live pretty far from Connecticut, and I feel a bit foolish for being so devastated despite not knowing anyone in the town, but…I am. Every time I look at my six-year-old I just think about how helpless he is and then my heart breaks all over again.

    I guess I just don’t understand how everyone’s attention span is so….short. I don’t get how everyone can not still feel broken and distraught and so grateful for their loved ones that they can hardly think of anything else.

  • Reply Kate December 17, 2012 at 11:16 am

    Beautifully written Roo. Thank you.

  • Reply lisa fine December 17, 2012 at 11:22 am

    Thank you for the links, and for your beautiful piece. I found your blog today through Young House Love.

    I’m from Wilton, and though I now live in Vermont, which feels kind of far from this tragic thing, I feel very close to it all too. There are too many people who lost loved ones who are only a few degrees of separation from myself. My family is down there, being extra cautious to make sure their doors are locked. My mom is extra blue, and I’m sure it’s because the shooting only happened 30 minutes from home. Where we used to go to Edmunds Town Hall to see movies as kids. Right near the Danbury Mall where I went as a teenager.

    Again, thank you.

  • Reply Anna December 17, 2012 at 11:23 am

    thank you for sharing both your beautiful thoughts and the info on how to help. as someone far away but close in sprit it is good to know how to help the families.

  • Reply Jenn December 17, 2012 at 11:35 am

    So perfectly written. Thank you for your honesty and your kindess. I wish those links didn’t have to be there, but I’m glad for a way to contribute positively, however small.

  • Reply Cathy from Adore Your Place December 17, 2012 at 11:39 am

    Thank you for sharing this amazing post and your heart. As I was writing about designing holiday tables for Christmas today I cried the whole way through wondering how the families will go on and why am I writing about tables when such a tragedy has happened but as you said the show goes on. I will share your story and ways to help with my readers and thank you.

  • Reply Liz December 17, 2012 at 11:53 am

    Thanks so much, Roo! Your hubby is wicked talented, by the way. Such a great tribute.

  • Reply Kathryn Adams December 17, 2012 at 11:59 am

    There are no words. We can’t go back and change what happened. What’s left? Prayer and love.

  • Reply Beth December 17, 2012 at 11:59 am

    Please remember, everyone grieves in their own way.

    • Reply Roo December 17, 2012 at 2:50 pm

      Yes, everyone does. I’m not faulting anyone for how they grieve. I hope you were able to gather that from my blog post.

  • Reply Brad @ Mr. Write Away December 17, 2012 at 11:59 am

    Thanks for sharing! I’m purchasing a stuffed animal for my one year old daughter to squeeze tightly then I’m mailing her hug to Sandy Hook Elementary (since we can’t be there in person)… I can’t imagine not being able to feel her tiny arms around me every day so hopefully someone else can find a moment of solace in her embrace. Sometimes a hug can do more than words ever could. My heart breaks for those parents (and anyone else affected).

  • Reply Kate December 17, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    This is a beautiful post. I’m sending you some gift cards now. In addition to the fund links above, I noticed a few charities and support services were encouraging people to donate to the United Way of Western Connecticut which has set-up a Sandy Hook School Support Fund https://newtown.uwwesternct.org/.
    Also, Save the Children has released 10 tips for parents on how to help children cope with a crisis and PBS Parents has a good section on the same topic. http://www.savethechildren.org/site/c.8rKLIXMGIpI4E/b.8479773/k.2264/How_to_Help_Children_Cope_with_a_Crisis.htm

  • Reply Emily December 17, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    Thank you Roo for your wonderful words in a very tough time for everyone. I live in Syracuse, NY so not near Newtown. But, I have a 6 year old and a 2 year old daughter and I have been undeniably in grief for these little souls and for those who protected them by giving up their lives. I didn’t need to see the pictures of each child, because in my as soon as I heard their age, I knew instinctively what they looked like and how they act, how they talk. Breaks my heart. God bless you, hold your girls tight, and God bless the angels in heaven right now.

  • Reply Tricia Hicks December 17, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    Roo,
    A friend of mine from church initiated this: We have taken the name of each victim and committed to pray for their families. I will be praying for Jesse’s family.

    God bless them all.
    Tricia Hicks
    http://www.longhollow.com

  • Reply Kristin December 17, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    I am in Oklahoma and it is hitting hard here too. I want all those in your community and surrounding areas to know that we may be far in distance but we are right there in spirit and in prayer. We are shedding tears by the bucket and praying constantly. We are trying not to live in fear, yet its so so hard. We will all get by with our faith and compassion for one another, though those families deeply affected will never recover.
    I pray that this opens our eyes to not take each other for granted and to spread more kindness through the world. I dropped all plans this weekend, and instead, spent time on the floor playing games with my 3rd grader and kindergartner. We had extra hugs, extra “I love you’s” and more importantly extra time together. They are clueless as to why. I just want them to always know they are loved beyond comprehension.

  • Reply Melissa December 17, 2012 at 12:50 pm

    Thank you Roo for doing this. it is so necessary to pray & grieve in private, but also so wonderful to actually reach out & serve. becoming entrenched in a trauma or tragedy like this is not an easy thing to do & I totally appreciate & value what you & Jack are doing to make a difference. you are an incredible person & are allowing so many others to do the same. I pray that this whole thing be blessed with Gods favor & would truly help in healing hearts & lives! xoxo!

  • Reply Juliana December 17, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    Thank you, Roo, for putting into words what I have been feeling since Friday. It’s like my heart and brain can’t quite get on the same page. I know my life must go on, but every thought or action brings me back to the families who have lost their beautiful children. It brings me to tears, but I know I must not cry because that will only cause questions from my little ones. I do not want them to know of the horror these 27 people faced only a few days ago. I know it will scare them. So for now I mourn within myself. This morning when I dropped my son off at kindergarten, we engaged in our goodbye hug and I told him I loved him. His teacher looked at me and said a simple, “He’ll be safe.” I looked at her and said, “I know. Thank you.”

  • Reply Loukia December 17, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    I cannot stop thinking about this story. I cry randomly… at home, at work, in the shower, driving. I’ve had nightmares, I’ve felt sick, I keep imaging the most horrific things, like what these children were doing moments before their lives were taken from them. What they were wearing. Their little socks. Their messy hair. Those little images. it hurts so f*cking bad, and I worry every day as it is. I don’t feel safe anymore. Actually as soon as I became a mom I was like, “Game over. Until I die this we’re pretty much in survival mode…” How horrible is that? But I know bad things can happen to anyone, anywhere, at any time. I don’t have the peace of mind or the… whatever… that some of my friends do, and when they say “There’s nothing we can do, don’t think about it anymore…” I want to shake them because 20 babies just died. And I want throw up. Argh. I’m so so sorry. It must be that much worse where you are. The only tiny piece of comfort is how we’re all grieving. The poor, poor, parents. Those beautiful, beautiful, children.

  • Reply Newtown « December 17, 2012 at 1:57 pm

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  • Reply Wendy December 17, 2012 at 2:54 pm

    Thank you for writing this and forwarding all of this info. John’s song is beautiful.

  • Reply Lesley December 17, 2012 at 3:47 pm

    Roo,
    It all hurts so bad. I stay strong around my son but when he naps I turn the TV on and can’t stop crying. I probably should turn the TV off but I can’t. I have a sink hole in my heart and stomache. How can one be so evil. These were innocent kids. I met you at the YHL book signing and even though I live an hour away in CT I feel like I am so close even though I am not. But my cousin was in Mosocw and there were spontaenous memorials that popped up in the streets there showing support and I had another friend in Bangkok where similar things occurred. It is just so surreal, that the tiny state we live in is international news for such a horrific event. My step daugther goes to college with a girl who babysat one of the victims. My mom works with someone who lives n Newtown and he just broke down crying at work this morning. His kids are grown now but they went to that school and they recognized teachers on TV that had survived. I passed a delivery truck on the highway today with “RIP Sandy Hook” written in the dirt, I started to tear up.

    We put our tree in the stand on Thursday night and I was supposed to decorate it on Friday but I couldn’t. I struggled to put lights on the tree. I finally got that done through tears but I am not so sure I want to put the ornaments on the tree. I just don’t feel like celebrating Christmas this year. Then I think why do I feel like this, for people I don’t know. And then I think how are those poor families, classmates and first responders dealing with this. I just wish we could turn back time.

  • Reply Without Words… – Cobwebs, Cupcakes & Crayons December 17, 2012 at 4:25 pm

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  • Reply Andrea (Lil-Kid-Things) December 17, 2012 at 4:34 pm

    Beautiful post, Roo.

  • Reply Mommy Mondays: Heavy Hearts | Run Run MomRun Run Mom December 17, 2012 at 4:58 pm

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  • Reply allie December 17, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    The family of Catherine Hubbard has asked people to donate to the local animal shelter in her honor: http://www.theanimalcenter.org/donate.htm

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  • Reply Courtney December 17, 2012 at 10:20 pm

    Beautifully written. My heart is breaking & I can’t quite put it into words yet. A lot of friends & moms in our area are looking for ways to help. If its ok, when I write I’m going to send them this way. This list is a great way to help.
    My little ones are sick right now too & while they sit on the couch together snuggling, I can’t help crying. I just don’t understand how this could happen to these families.

  • Reply Timmi December 17, 2012 at 9:32 pm

    For the last 9 months or so I have been in a horrible battle with depression. I am in a position where finding help and relief from Drs is not a fee-sable option. So I just go one about my day and my life. It hurts to love the ones in my family and just about every day I cry. But on Friday a tragedy happened and you would think it would make me hurt more, but I feel like I woke up. All my problems, all my pain seemed silly and useless compared to how these families feel. I honestly had a wonderful weekend with my family because life was put into perspective for me as I am sure it did for many others around the world.

  • Reply Megan December 17, 2012 at 9:52 pm

    It isn’t in our faces like it is there, but we are feeling it all over. I know a lot of parents cried dropping their kids off at school and my sister cried talking to her students in CT. Our hearts hurt and we feel helpless. Thanks for sharing some real ways to make a difference. Bless your little girls hearts. I hope all their joy and giggling brings hope and light to you community.

  • Reply Kristin Michelle December 18, 2012 at 12:11 am

    How sad, yet strangely comforting, it has been to sit here and read through this post and subsequent comments. I am the blessed mother to a seven year old daughter and four year old son. While the initial shock of Friday’s tragedy hit me hard, the deeper grief and sadness has become much more palpable in the hours and days since. Over the weekend we too tried to shild our sorrow from the children and to honor those lost by embracing each other with a profound sense of gratitude that we hadn’t known was possible. I kept staring at my children, almost to reassure myself that they were still here…and my thoughts continue to dwell on all the everyday moments that will no longer be shared between so many children and their ever devoted, and forever changed, parents. When I became a mother, I was immensely surprised at how my entire identity shifted before my very own eyes…once again these mothers and fathers and siblings will endure their own death of who they once were before Friday and who they will evolve into in the days and years ahead…I will keep them and all of the children in my thoughts, meditations, and prayers for as long as
    I live…I am forever changed.

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    […] and disbelief, I haven’t felt it appropriate to jump back into blogging quite yet. I saw this post from Roo Ciambriello and thought I’d pass it along – there are some great ways to help […]

  • Reply Sandy December 18, 2012 at 1:21 am

    Words are so powerful. Thank you for this beautiful way to share my thoughts. At this moment, I too am bearing a very heavy heart. I am a Grandmother of a wonderful 8 year old Grandson and a sweet 8 month old little Granddaughter. They both live a distance away from my husband and me, one 2 hours away and the other in California. Here in Prairie Village, Kansas, our flags are also at half mast and even though we are half a country away from the families in Newtown, our hearts, minds and souls are holding all those families in our loving embrace. At Mass on Sunday, the 3rd Sunday of Advent, it is traditional for our priest to wear rose colored vestments since we are so close to Christmas. Our dear Fr. Keith chose to wear purple instead. He could not bear to dress in rose as a result of all the sadness and tragedy at the Sandy Hook Elementary School. Our entire Church of St. Ann offered up prayers for all those little ones, teachers, first responders and families whose lives were forever changed. Please know that I will continue to pray for all of them. May all the souls of those who were called to be with GOD in heaven rest in peace and may His perpetual light shine on them forever. I thank you for allowing me to share my thoughts.

  • Reply Prayers | Savor and See December 18, 2012 at 1:32 am

    […] for ways to help the victims and their families in Connecticut, check out these suggestions here and […]

  • Reply There are No Words, Adore Your Place - Interior Design Blog December 18, 2012 at 2:19 am

    […] to help here but her article lists even more ways and she will be updating it as well, read her entire post here. In her article she describes her day and it is how so many of us are feeling. Trying to get […]

  • Reply Alexandra December 18, 2012 at 8:27 am

    I’m with you, Roo.

    I’m so stunned I can’t be funny. I had filed all my humor posts to other sites last week, so they’re out.

    But I can’t bring myself to promote them–and they are out there, but I can’t promote.

    I’m so sad, rattled, quick to tears, in an altered state.

    It’s going to take a long time.

    So long, because it’s something I can’t grasp–and I see my child’s face in there, and now, I’m a mess again.

    Thank you, Roo, for all you’re doing. You’re doing it because you know it helps heal, brings comfort, shows we care, supports those that should not feel alone right now.

    Thank you.

  • Reply The Weekend (That I Was Dealt A Healthy Dose of Perspective) December 18, 2012 at 10:01 am

    […] wrote and recorded the following song, his tribute to the Sandy Hook victims. Also, Roo has written a great post with ways to help. Please check it out if you’re eager to […]

  • Reply I Can’t Live in Fear | A Mommy In The City December 18, 2012 at 10:16 am

    […] If you would like to help the families of this horrific tragedy, my dear friend Roo from Nice Girl Notes is keeping an updated list on how you can help these families. […]

  • Reply Angela December 18, 2012 at 11:31 am

    Just sent a gift card to your email. Thanks for writing this post.

  • Reply Kristin @ What She Said December 18, 2012 at 12:13 pm

    Eloquent as always, Roo. I’m not in Connecticut, but I echo so many of your thoughts and feelings. I can’t shake off this veil of grief and fear and dread that’s settled over me. I physically ache for the parents of the lost children and am haunted by what those babies’ final thoughts and moments must have been like. I can’t look at their pictures online or on TV because I see my own 3YO daughter. I feel as if I’m somehow dishonoring their memory by looking away, but I just can’t.

    I don’t know how to live in this world anymore. I don’t know how to raise a child in this world. I feel like I don’t know anything anymore.

  • Reply Madison December 18, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    Just sent via Paypal.

    Thank you for being the hands and feet for those of us who can’t be there to hand families the things they need or give them a hug. My heart breaks as I look at the faces and names of those sweet babes. All our thoughts and prayers to Newtown, surrounding communities, families, friends and all affected. <3

  • Reply donna December 18, 2012 at 6:18 pm

    Thank you for your post, and for providing links to ways we can help. You have given those of us far away a concrete way to extend a hand to the families who are grieving. I can’t be there to make a meal, but I was able to contribute to do just that. THANK YOU.

    (i wish i could have said that all this anonymously, but i also want you to know your part in passing on ways to help is fruitful.)

  • Reply Jess December 18, 2012 at 9:41 pm

    As someone who is all the way over in Australia and watching this tragedy unfold via the media, I will be sharing this group of links with everyone I know. I can’t even begin to feel the sadness of that day, I was completely horrified and numb. I don’t even know what to say, I just want to hold everyone.

  • Reply How To Help Newton December 19, 2012 at 5:54 am

    […] to be met. Roo over at NiceGirlNotes lives just a few towns away from Newtown. She has compiled a list of legitimate funds that you can give to. Go check out her post and see what you can […]

  • Reply Rachael December 19, 2012 at 9:42 am

    Thank you for posting these links. We live in NJ, but I feel like this happened in our own community. It feels so close to home. I am mourning for the loss of those children and the adults who tried to protect them. My heart breaks for the families that are faced with such deep sorrow. I welcome any opportunity to let these families know that they have the support of their neighbors, near and far, and that there is still good in the world even when it feels like darkness has taken over. Again, thank you for the post. Hearts and prayers to Newtown.

  • Reply Robin Dini December 19, 2012 at 8:36 pm

    You have captured the mood so perfectly in your words. I heard someone say recently that there is something very different about this tragedy. It’s effects seem to be much more permanent and I don’t think it’s just because it’s Connecticut, our home state.

    Continued prayers for everyone. xo

  • Reply America Mourns « Traveling.Sole December 19, 2012 at 10:43 pm

    […] you would like to help in tangible ways here’s a link for […]

  • Reply Mandie December 20, 2012 at 12:35 am

    My name is Mandie Desarmeau and Im from Ontario, Canada and I cant distract or shake the somber feeling of heaviness in my heart. I am a mother as well of three and I’m so saddend by this tragedy like it was in my country or my back yard. I mourn for those beautiful children , the parents, and survivors as well as the heros who died to save those children. Some people say to me dont let it consume you or they say ya its sad and then move on with their day but it struck my heart like a daggar. I cant just go on my day like its ok when its not. So I just decided to do the same thing I will light 26 candles in memory of thos Newtown lives lost. I will do so until I am done mourning and ready to move foreward. I love you Newtown and those beautiful children. God Bless

  • Reply Cabin Fever | East Coast Girl December 21, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    […] people at choir rehearsal. When my heart breaks, it breaks hard. So it's been a slow week. Roo at NiceGirlNotes compiled a list on ways you can help and support the parents and fellow classmates at Sandy Hook […]

  • Reply Remember is Honoring March 26, 2013 at 10:20 am

    […] Families.  Connecticut – and the nation, too, of course – was sent reeling when the Newtown tragedy happened last December.  Handmade signs still stand around our towns and cars are adorned with green magnets.  We […]

  • Reply Remembering is Honoring - NEON FRESH April 8, 2013 at 9:19 pm

    […] Families.  Connecticut – and the nation, too, of course – was sent reeling when the Newtown tragedy happened last December.  Handmade signs still stand around our towns and cars are adorned with green magnets.  We […]

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