Friday, December 14, 2012

Remembrance | Candlelight Vigil for Newtown, CT Lives

Hi Neighbors and Global Citizens,

Tonight we held a candlelight vigil and prayer service for the tragic event and 28 lives lost this morning at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT.:

I captioned this message on the Facebook vigil page:
I lit 27 candles for the precious lives lost today in Newtown, CT.  I kept losing count, and wanted to cry.  At one point, one of the flames extinguished from a nearby draft. OMG, no, that is a life!  I felt so protective of those flames.  I pray for love and peace to win, + seek to apply myself in that way while there's today!  Hugs and Love to all of you.  Kindly, I am, Dena Rosko
This event reminds me of the urgent importance to contribute to public safety in my region or locale with my skill sets and vocation, such as by learning how I can help traumatology response.  We can do practical things such as training and public campaigns for active shooting survival response in our cities, businesses, and schools, and improve filtering and registration systems for weapons most used in these kinds of crimes.  We can learn how to engage in age appropriate helping conversations and peer listening, what not to say, advice for school staff, how to help children after a shooting, and to seek out beneficial information and related resources from credible sources.  Also access this school crisis guide.  However, our greatest challenge involves offsetting the stigma of mental illness, and changing our discourse about violence starting with accountability to public health.  Most of all, changing the discourse means normalizing intolerance to come of age by mass murder or other acts of violence (e.g., "Don't Be that Guy" campaign by Women Against Violence Against Women).

Pray for wisdom, self-care, and health of responders, families of all the deceased, health officials, and government.  Also, condolences to 22 children and one adult injured in a knife attack at a school in China.  How to make schools a safe place to learn and grow?  More on how to help.

Watch Mister Rogers' 1969 Senate testimony, in which he mentions the merits of communication to children with mentions of "feelings mentionable and manageable, we will do a great service to mental health...," "Neighborhood expression of care...," "a special day by being you...," and, learning to control "the mad that I feel" makes a path for adulthood, or "a girl can someday be a lady, and a boy, someday a man...":

Read more wise words from Mister Rogers.  In the meantime, let sorrow and empathy be our teachers.  This mental picture teaches me:  28 gifts with name-tags now sit under someone's Christmas tree.  

Name list via The New York Times (above)

Flowers for the families...
Peace for the responders...
Bear-Love + *hugs* for the Children...
Calls to Mend,
and Open, Hearts,