Dear Newtown, Connecticut

Dear Newtown, Connecticut, please know that you are not alone.

December 14, 2012

Dear Newtown, Connecticut,

I don’t know you. I’ve never been to your town, I don’t know your friends and families and streets and memories. Like most people, I didn’t know you existed until today, and now my ears keep echoing with your name and your cries; now I close my eyes and picture your woods; now I think of you every time I inhale, exhale, breathe.

I don’t know you, but my heart shattered for you today in a way I can’t comprehend yet. I don’t have answers for you, only shared questions; I don’t have reasons for you, only resonating whys. I’m not there, I’m not with you, I’m not part of you tonight, but from 317 miles away, know that I am grieving with you.

I don’t have the intellect to understand what happened today. I don’t have the language to put into words what these monsters of grief and fear and anger and evil look like or feel like or taste like on your tongue.

Dear Connecticut, know that you are not alone tonight. Know that your pain matters, your fears matter, your anger matters. Know that the raw, gaping holes you are facing matter; and while those holes must feel so all-consuming tonight, know that there is hope. Know that it might be buried right now, but it is there. Know that no matter how broken you are in this moment, or will be in these dark hours and days and months and years to come, that there are Hands that will hold you together no matter how much you are falling apart. There is Peace that can fill every aching, burning crevice in your heart and your soul. There is a Protector that is promising, “You will be safe in My arms.”

Dear children, know that there is still hope in the world. Know that evil doesn’t win, that fear doesn’t triumph, that safety still exists. Know that it’s OK to be lonely and it’s OK to be scared and it’s OK to be angry and it’s OK to be broken, but know that you are heal-able, you are mend-able, you are strong and you are loved and you will get through this.

Dear world, know that we are not alone tonight. Hug your children. Hug your family. Know that broken hearts and grieving mommies and daddies transcend all borders, all languages, all religions. Know that tragedy has no definition, but it has meaning; that when hurt of this magnitude hits, it is too much for any one school or community or town to manage all by itself, so it overflows and settles on each one of us. Know that we carry this burden together, and in that, we can help each other heal. Know that prayers, peace, healing, gentleness, love and goodness continue to live because we work to keep them alive, even in the darkest, most empty, most forsaken moments. Keep working. Keep hope alive. Keep going when your friends and neighbors can't do it by themselves.

Know that God is here. Know that He is catching each tear, comforting each sob, feeling each gasp deep within His own being. Know that your prayers are heard and treasured. Know that your loved ones are not lost, but being gently cradled. Know that no matter how angry you get at God or how far and fast you run from Him, He will never stop holding you close to His heart. He will never stop whispering, “I love you, dear child.”

Dear Newtown, Connecticut. I wish I had words stronger than I’m sorry, more meaningful than I’m praying. I wish I could make your children come back and your schools feel like safe havens and your hugs unbroken. I wish I could drive 317 miles so I could sit with you and tell you this tonight:

God lost His baby boy, too.

He is holding you now and will never let go;

He is promising to carry you.


Dear Newtown, Connecticut,

We will pray you through.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Tony Harold December 15, 2012 at 05:30 PM
Well said
Margo Deselin Woodall December 15, 2012 at 05:32 PM
Thank you for your beautiful, heartfelt message to Newtown. Although we are devastated and heartbroken, these words of comfort and support mean a lot. Thank you for standing with us and God bless you.
Joe Diehl December 15, 2012 at 06:08 PM
i just want to let all of you know that also here in europe our prayers are with you! all those innocents will find a very special place under the wings of the love of our father! you are not alone! god bless you! joe from germany
Liz December 15, 2012 at 06:10 PM
Beautiful! These words will comfort many people, thank you.
Lori Hausmann December 15, 2012 at 06:44 PM
Beautifully written, Emily. What a gift you have for putting into words what the hearts of this nation feel. Thank you...
Marilyn Vargas December 15, 2012 at 07:33 PM
The sadness grows and the watch continues. Those of us across the country who try to go about our day, do so with heavy hearts. Our prayers seem insufficient, our tears seem endless. We wait for word of the identity of those precious lives lost - so that we can have a place to direct our grief, to honor their lives and to despair at their loss. They are the precious children and loved ones of the people of Newtown, but they are the faces and stories and lives of all of us because it could have happened anywhere. We are holding our own children tighter, we are giving them warnings we never thought we would have to give them. While the victims, families, witnesses and community of Newtown is reeling from the enormity of their loss, the country, and the world stand witness and join in the grief and loss and pain. My most sincere condolences to the town of Newtown, May the spirits of love, compassion, generosity and hope wrap you all in their arms today and all the days to come. Much love - from Colorado.
Barry Stevens December 15, 2012 at 10:40 PM
Dear Newtown - I never lived there, but I did live in Darien, Stamford, and Scotland Connecticut. I've driven through Newtown many times. I've felt the wonderful environment there. Now I'm in Costa Rica, but all those memories are flooding back. I know that God is on your side. I work with children each day, and I can't even begin to get my head around what happened in your town. What I do know is that love is flowing to you from around the world as the news of these events travels. Know that my heart is with you, and so are the hearts of millions of people around the world.
Jeanne Insalaco - Email December 16, 2012 at 03:15 AM
I drive through Newtown in the summer and always have admired this town. My heart breaks for the families who lost a child in this tragedy. There are no words to comfort these parents. Nothing is greater then losing a child, but this violent act is.... Words cannot express. You are in my prayers.
Jennifer Marshall December 16, 2012 at 04:10 AM
Beautifully written prayer for Newtown and the country which is grieving with this community which has suffered such an incomprehensible loss. Thank you for sharing.
Suzi Larocca December 16, 2012 at 05:53 AM
Emily: Thank you for allowing our Heavenly Father to use you to express to Newtown what so many of us are feeling, but not knowing how to express it. Newtown, we grieve with you, we cry with you, we will be there to lift you up when you feel you can no longer stand. For our Father tells us, "I will be with you alway, even unto the ends of the earth." You are forever in my prayers. My sincerest sympathies to each of you.
MiMi December 16, 2012 at 06:58 PM
What a beautiful letter to sum up how the world is looking at this horrible, horrible tragedy....Newtown please know that we, the people, will be keeping all of you in our thoughts and prayers for days, weeks and even years ahead.....here is hoping and praying that GOD will keep each and all of you in the palm of HIS HANDS....to comfort you and provide each of you with the strength that you will need to get through this horrible ordeal.....MAY GOD WATCH OVER EACH OF YOU AND BLESS YOU.....AMEN and AMEN.....
George Robinson December 16, 2012 at 07:03 PM
My heart goes out to you all, may time heal your pain. George Robinson, UK.
Jennifer James Hume December 16, 2012 at 09:41 PM
Dear Emily: Your letter was lovely. It helped me heal a little to read it, as I'm sure it helped you heal a little to write it. Bless you. Jennifer Hume, FL
Marian Humphrey December 16, 2012 at 10:14 PM
Thank you Emily, for being a illing vessal to express God's heart for Newtown victims. May your thoughts be an inspiration for me and others to pour His love to them in the unique ways He would have us to do.. Marian H, Wilm, DE
Amy Cardin December 17, 2012 at 05:13 AM
Emily, your profound and heartfelt words brought tears to my eyes. You articulated exactly how so many of us are feeling. Newton, we are indeed with you and hold you in our every prayer. Amy from Michigan.
Albert M Catlos December 17, 2012 at 05:26 PM
God bless all those who died that day. You will live in our hearts forever. KIDS, JUST KIDS They were what they were, kids, just kids. Sometimes life tries to make them more than that. But look at them, so tiny, so frail, so cute. They were what they were, kids, just kids. Can you hear the laughter, it’s the kids. Maybe in some way they are coming home. We won’t know until we see them someday. But they were what they were, kids, just kids. Ah Christmas, a great time to be a kid. We know it, we lived it, but where are they? The tree, the presents, the cards, God the kids. They were that weren’t they, just kids. I pray, I cry, I ask God why. Their cute little faces live; they’ll never die. They are now frozen in time as the years go by. They will always be kids, just kids. Albert M Catlos Burlington NC amcat3@hotmail.com
Alan Gamble December 17, 2012 at 06:02 PM
Emily's letter is truly moving, with sentiments shared by many worldwide. Although not identified by CNN, we assume it was you who accompanied your husband Dr. John Woodall at the inspiring interfaith memorial service. https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=BWFQ03VKWYM#! "Although the loss of a child is indeed heart-breaking and beyond the limits of human endurance, yet one who knoweth and understandeth is assured that the child hath not been lost but, rather, hath stepped from this world into another, and you will find him in the divine realm... Praise be unto God that thou hast faith...and believest in the existence of a heavenly world. Therefore be thou not disconsolate, do not languish, do not sigh, neither wail nor weep; for agitation and mourning deeply affect their soul in the divine realm. That beloved child addresseth thee from the hidden world: 'O thou kind Mother and Father...I have been freed from a small and gloomy cage and, like the birds of the meadows, have soared to the divine world -- a world which is spacious, illumined, and ever joyous and jubilant. Therefore, lament not... and be not grieved; I am not of the lost, nor have I been obliterated and destroyed. I have shaken off the mortal form and have raised my banner in this spiritual world. Following this separation is everlasting companionship. Thou shalt find me in the heaven of the Lord, immersed in an ocean of light.' " ~ Selections from the Writings of Abdu'l-Baha, p. 201
Robert December 17, 2012 at 06:22 PM
My thoughts & prayers are with the family. My God comfort u at this time
Robert December 17, 2012 at 06:26 PM
Idaho is praying for Newton
Moe December 17, 2012 at 07:46 PM
I hope all of you commenting out there around the nation and around the world realize you are helping all of us Connecticut residents begin to try to heal. Dear Emily, a special thank you...simply put, that was beautiful.
Kim December 18, 2012 at 12:12 AM
Very well written, Emily. I'd like to also let the residents of Newtown know that my heart is breaking for all of you. No one should have to see this happen to their loved ones, and I wish I could give each one of you a big hug. As I go about my daily life here in Michigan, I break down and cry at the sight of a young child walking from the school bus with his parent. Please know that you aren't alone in your grief. Sending you wishes for peace and healing.


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