I rely heavily on words. I always have. In good times and bad, I have depended on words to express my thoughts, opinions and feelings. And, the vast majority of the time, they have served me well.
But sometimes words fail.
Sometimes there is no way to string words together into a coherent thought that will make sense of what goes on around us.
We can say that our hearts are heavy as we think about the recent tragedy in Newtown, but placing those words next to one another does not do adequate justice to the physical manifestation of our grief over the horrors which unfolded there. There is no pairing of phrases that will ever make us understand such actions. No amount of flowing prose that can ever undo the harm done.
Even the good words aren’t quite sufficient enough. “Hero” is overused, but what better to describe the teachers and faculty who laid down their lives in defense of their students? “Courageous” seems like too small a word for the children who followed the directions of their teachers during this nightmare, but there doesn’t seem to be a better one.
No matter how hard we try, we won’t find the illusive, perfect words that will make everything better. They do not exist.
No matter how many times we want to assure ourselves and other that “everything is going to be okay,” it won’t be. Nothing can make this okay.
It's true, words do a poor job of conveying the tempests that wrack our heads and hearts during a time like this, but they still remain one of our best tools. So, we will strive for sentiments of comfort and hope, as we go through the wake of this devastation.
Words can’t make it better, but they can remind people they are not alone. They can be used to assure others that through the hardest times, the rest of us are here to carry them through.
My thoughts and prayers are with everyone in Newtown.