It is Sunday, I was hoping to wake up and feel a lot better. It doesn’t magically happen. My daughter is a freshman at Arapahoe High School. Friday’s shooting has changed our lives forever. My family is in shock. The trauma is felt by every person affected by this horror and we all are trying to find our way through the aftermath.
I have had so much empathy for people affected by shootings on t.v.and personally helped with the outreach to the Columbine High School shooting 15 years ago. Living in Colorado we have had our share of these shootings. I can tell you, I never thought a shooting would personally affect my family.
We had my daughter’s friends over yesterday. They are dealing with this by getting together. They also can’t eat. We watched a Jim Gaffigan comedy together and they played a game and listened to music that was funny. It was good to hear them laugh. It was good for a little while they can forget. Sleeping is where it is most difficult. No one slept Friday night.
Fear is the thing that keeps coming up. They have to go back into those hallways, as parents we have to let them go back. The feeling of safety is gone. The fear of how this will affect their lives in the future. I am not a stranger to fear, i don’t think any parent is. when i received a text from my daughter Friday telling me that the school is in lock down, Shots had been fired, the swat team was there and she was crying and terrified, my heart went into my stomach. The helplessness is indescribable. I answered her that i love her so much, to pray and to stay down. I left work and drove to the school in shock. Trying to reach my husband to connect with him when we both got there. The chaos is nothing i have experienced with trying to find somewhere to park and find out where to go. The media frenzy taking advantage of your personal space and photographing these kids and parents reuniting. We were not told anything at the church except that this is where our children will be dropped off. Everyone at home watching this happen had more information than any of us standing there waiting for our kids. a lot of us waited for 4 hours to reunite with our kids as they bused them to the church. Then we were told to not interact with them because they needed to be in the church. There were several lines around the church to get your child. We were all calling our kids to find out where they were in the church. It was a mess. You know your child is inside, you want to hold them and comfort them. They were left again to wait. The moment we got her was indescribable to hold her and know she was with us.
It is over physically. We are in the grief process. Shock is still here accompanied by anger. The mother’s involved in this tragedy i have processed with are dealing with all of this. I was one of the fortunate mom’s whose child had their cell phone because many did not during this. We are all grateful our children are safe. We are grateful that they have had shooting drills and protocols in place. We are also angry we are thankful for this. Our kids should never have to go through this, ever! The boy who did this was a problem and the anger from the kids is if he is represented as a victim. He bullied and had strong opinions that were negative. They told me, they knew he was unstable, they even had classes changed to not be with him.I don’t know how we fix this as a society but personally feel the media sensationalizes the shooter’s who do this. I also feel that if someone has turned 18 and is enrolled in school, the school should be notified if a gun has been purchased. I don’t know if you can psychologically profile a person. These kids thought he was awful but never thought he was capable of this.
The week to come sounds like it will be a time for the students to get their belongings and process through this together. They need each other. They have to face the school again together. I have no doubt, they will. They are warriors,warriors take care of each other