The outpouring for the families in grief and loss from the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, CT has been amazing. People are eager to donate books as an act of love to those mourning the loss of loved ones.
Originally the plan was to send a book (Getting Out of Bed in the Morning: Reflections of Comfort in Heartache) to Sandy Hook for each family who had been affected by the tragedy in the loss of a child--young (student) or adult (teacher). That was a meaningful act of comfort, and thanks to each of you, that goal has been accomplished!
When I read again the message from Lisa Schorp (the woman with the vision who posted on my Facebook page last Saturday), I noted that she said it would be great to be able to send copies of my book not only to the families at Sandy Hook Elementary School who lost a loved one, but to all the families. I suppose I overlooked that part of her message because it seemed too big a goal.
This project has morphed. That is amazing to me. Thanks to the generous donations that have come from all over the USA and Canada, we can send more books. The local churches in Sandy Hook can use copies of Getting Out of Bed in the Morning for their libraries and others in the devastated community can benefit from a book on hope and healing in the midst of loss.
When do we send this gift of love? Although the media is consumed with reports of what is going on now in the Newton community, we know from past experiences that the "hype" will soon dissipate. Humans are like that. We tend to move from one news-breaking event to another.
But the families who lost loved ones are only at the beginning of their journeys . . . When a child dies, the world stops for a parent. The first weeks, even months, are like living in a fog. When that anesthesia wears off, the reality kicks in.
My child is gone. He is not coming back.
Parents need help and support for the rest of their lives. I continue to cherish those who have walked this bereavement trail with me. It's been fifteen years since my son Daniel's death and I still yearn for his smile and hug.
Right now we plan to send the books after the first of next year.
Here is what we are looking at:
1. An autographed book with the name of each child who died for the child's family
2. One of my Songs from Heaven empathy cards with each book
3. A letter with the names and hometowns of each of the donors (that would be you all) for each family
Thank you, each one, for your donations to this Sandy Hook Comfort Project.
If others would like to donate, click on this link and scroll to the end of the post.