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Our Children Died: A Lament for Uvalde, for Us All

I’ve scrolled Facebook so much in the last 12 hours that I don’t know, at first, if the kids that pop into my feed are dead now or if I’m just looking at shots of my friends’ kids finishing up their school year.

The dead and the living, intermingled in my feed. The same age. Or they were, until yesterday.

It hit me yesterday, the gut punch realization that I kept scrolling for information about the shooter, desperately searching for something that proved definitively this kind of carnage could never happen here, something that would tell me why. Then I realized two truths, simultaneously:

  1. No “why” will bring back a dead child.
  2. Those children aren’t “their” children, separate from me. They are OUR children. And until we internalize that, let it sink into our very core, this will continue to happen.

It could have been Jane.

And each time I look at their pictures–and I have looked at every single one, read about every child, how much they will be missed, the brokenness their families experience, the grief and love spilling out into the world–I cry.

I grieve with them.

There is no us and them. We are all, irrevocably, in this together.

Our children died.

I cannot and will not accept that this is simply the state of the world. Admonitions to “hold your children tight” fill me with seething rage. I should hold my daughter close because someone will never see her daughter again?

No.

I will fight like hell so that no one has to grieve this way again, over senseless violence. But I will not thank fate that it was someone else’s child and not mine.

OUR children died.

I cannot countenance people saying they’ve “given up” on legislation.

No.

Legislation is the only way forward. It is a way to seek safeguards and accountability. Giving up on the process isn’t an option.

Children are dying.

Our children are dying.

And please, for the love of God, stop acting like everyone who wants to keep their hunting rifle supports the wanton murder of children.

It’s not true.

We need conservatives to stand up and speak out about gun safety and ending gun violence. We need their voices, their outrage, and their grief, too. We are all interconnected. We need them.

Their children died, too.

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