Newtown Tragedy 26 Victims or 28 Victims?

For the past three years, I have facilitated the Children’s Living Stations of the Cross. The children re-enact Jesus’ walk to crucifixion represented by the stations and scripture.

This year I felt we should tailor the script to those who are still dealing with grief in the aftermath of 12/14/12. In our community, Newtown, many are still struggling and stuck in grief.

Children are just confused but can or will not verbalized it to anyone. The reasons are obvious as death is confusing.
We ask ourselves questions like,
Why did this happen?
How could God let this happen?
Why didn’t it happen to me instead?
Will I ever get through this?

The stations are read in two parts.
The narration of the act and a prayer to Jesus. Usually related to that particular station.

This year, I wrote the prayers as if a child was praying and dealt with the how’s, why’s and what’s of the tragic events a little over three months ago.

Another aspect of the stations I added was putting candles on the alter to represent the victims.

I sent a request for 26 candles.
I received a reply that I was to use 28 candles.

26 for the teachers and children.
1 for the mother
1 for the shooter.

I wrote a poem from the point of view of the son called, “Behind These Eyes.”

I realized at that point that I never considered the mother and the son as victims. They are though. The mother was murdered, a victim of her sons actions. The son shot himself as a result of, what I can only call it, EVIL.

I know many in Newtown are unable still to even consider the mother and son in the victim equation.

I know many in Newtown could care less about them and they have every right to feel however they feel. There is no judgement here.

But, and I know people won’t agree with me, as a Christian, if I truly want to be like Jesus, or do what Jesus would do, I have to consider them victims also.

This is not easy. It’s actually hard
My point of view is that although the son committed the act, I feel his mother is more accountable. From everything I’ve seen and heard, this boy was tossed around, left to his own devices, introduced to and had access to dangerous weapons.

I know more than a little about mental illness. The last thing someone does is leave an unstable individual alone with guns. Either way, blaming won’t make any difference at this point.

I think, and I’m only a mother, former teacher and schooled on abnormal psychology, there is a special responsibility to a child with mental illness or disabilities (which mental illness is classified as) from psychosis to ADHD. If it’s ignored, it doesn’t get better. And if there’s no chance of it getting better, you definitely cannot ignore it.

Where does that leave us?
Well, it leaves me with placing 28 candles on the alter and faking it till I make it.


That’s what Jesus would do.

I’m not completely there yet.
Baby steps.


About goplayintraffic

My Blog, which began as a mommy blog and turned into a writing website,, is the product of my years of being home with my children and trying to find ways to keep myself sane. I have always had this feeling, coming from a single mother, that I have to contribute financially and that I have to be able to take care of myself and my children. having been married, being a NYC school teacher, having four children, living in Newtown, CT and trying to find a way to get through each day with a smile has always been something I've strived for. My stories, articles and poems will do a lot of things but mostly make you feel. I think that is what is so wonderful about having the ability to write. I have been given the gift of taking my emotions and transferring them to written word. Once that is done, I can share those words with others who may feel better, maybe just for a moment, but better nonetheless having read my words. I am glad you are here and hope you will stay:)
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