Monday, December 31, 2012

Noah Pozner: outside the circle

Yesterday marked our first real foray outside the immediate circle of grief and comfort. Everyone we had met since Dec. 14 had been somehow connected to the tragedy. Even on the flight coming in from Detroit where we had had a layover, just after landing as we were putting our jackets on, I noticed a couple crying silently behind us. I had to ask. They were flying in to be with their best friends who had lost their little girl. She had been in Noah's class. We hugged. In the terminal they were met by family and friends who came to hug us in turn. We had been walking a trail of sorrow ever since.
But yesterday Veronique and the girls were running errands and meeting up with friends and I went to have my nails done. I was by myself. I had never been to the place before and knew no one there. It took a while as it often does and the whole time I felt lonelier than I have ever been. As if my whole being was a huge invisible bruise the world couldn't avoid bumping against. I remembered what French writer Anne Philippe wrote after the death of her husband, French actor Gérard Philippe: "J'étais si près de toi que j'ai froid près des autres" (I was so close to you that I feel cold around other people) and I too felt chilled. I couldn't wait to be back in the family circle.
Veronique had it much, much worse. At the bouncing place where she took the girls after their playdate, a clueless young woman (although a mother herself), shared with her some of her wild speculations about what truly happened at the school on the day of the killing. It was horrendous.
But it is only the beginning. As we all venture outside our circles, more situations will arise, temporarily obstructing the path of mourning, already slow and tortuous and full of steep bumps and deep hollows. At the parents' meeting the other day, parents of surviving siblings expressed concern about the schoolbus drivers. Had they all been told whom not to expect on their route or were they going to ask a lone child: "You by yourself today? Your brother/sister not coming?" Had they had some form of coaching to know how to deal with little kids who might be afraid or sad outside their immediate circles of grief and comfort? The holiday season makes it more difficult to get answers and we are all learning, painfully, that there is only so much we can do to protect each other.

26 comments:

  1. I am so sorry to hear that it is that much harder for you all out in the world, but am thankful that your family is so beautiful, loving and strong. I pray that the world will soften for you once again.
    God Bless you,
    Erin Gill
    Mason, Ohio

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  2. Mc I ask you please don't stop writing.... how I find your words inspiring and uplifting. Your pain translates through your words and I cry for you... I prayer and speak to God to never stop having Noah show you that he is and will always be with you. We <3 you, your family, and little Noah.

    W. Lorenzo

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  3. Thank you for sharing everything so candidly with us. Please rest assured people you don't know, who you may never meet in person, have you all in a circle of prayer and caring. Here's one small way we honored the victims: http://www.badassfitness.com/2012/12/badassesrun4newtown-26-miles-for-26-lives/

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  4. This is beautiful! Thank you so much for your words!

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  5. How eloquently and touching you describe this part of grief 'as if my whole being was a huge invisible bruise the world couldn't avoid bumping against.'
    Thank you for sharing this experience.

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  6. MC - thank you for these amazing and beautifully written updates. I can't even begin to tell you how much it means.

    To Noah: I hope you know how many lives all over the world you've touched!!! If you had lived to be 100 I don't know that you would have met as many people who now know you and feel your presence, keeping your family strong and guiding their way through this terrible time. You were ALWAYS meant for great things, and though that path may have changed now, you STILL ARE -- and will continue to be.

    Love from your neighbor Anne Longley in Oxford, CT who sends hugs to you and your classmates and teachers in heaven -- and to Noah's family, THANK YOU for sharing your beautiful boy and yourselves with us. Please know he lives on in ways you will continue to see forever.

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  7. Your updates are such a blessing to so many people. Your words translate so much love for your family and little Noah. Please know there is not an hour that goes by when Noah and your family dont cross my mind. His larger than life spirit radiates from his pictures, his gentle eyes tells the story of a sweet sweet soul. Noah has captured the hearts of so many all over the world. And there hasent been a trip to Taco Johns (my daughters favorite food too) when I dont think about your little man in heaven.
    Thank you, your words are a gift to us all, so that we may feel closer to this incredible little boy that we never knew.
    Danielle Waage
    Clive Iowa

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    1. Achingly lovely sentiments...

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  8. e' vero nel ricordo continueranno a vivere. Qui da me in Italia ci stiamo preparando per il cenone di fine anno in casa con i familiari ma io non faccio altro che pensare a Newtown e ai suoi innocenti strappati alla vita. Vi voglio bene voglio bene a Noah ...con tutto il mio cuore

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    1. I agree with Fedra, 23 minutes are left till new year and I am thinking of Noah.
      He will leave in our hearts forever <3 <3 <3

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    2. Sorry, I wanted to write that he will live in our hearts forever.

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  9. I came across your blog while reading about Noah and I have to say that your words are so expressive and articulate the joy that must have been this wonderful little boy. I have shed many tears over a little boy who I have never met, but he looks so much like my son that it has really hit me hard. I hope that for you and your family just knowing that there are so many people who will keep Noah in their hearts will be of some comfort to you.

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  10. I think this is the most honest and real description I've ever read: "As if my whole being was a huge invisible bruise the world couldn't avoid bumping against."

    Sending you all many hugs. There are no words.

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  11. I have been thinking of Noah and all of you each and every day. Last night I barely slept thinking of Noah and particularly Veronique. I desperately want this to be a horrible nightmare that we'll all wake up from. Some days it seems I think of you all almost constantly and I am amazed that I could shed so many tears for people whom I have never met. Perhaps the connection I feel is because my rambunctious son's name is also Noah and he looks like your beautiful grandson. I continue to remind myself that there is really more good than bad in this world and I am inspired by all of your strength and courage. Even in your darkest hours of sorrow, you have encouraged and amazed myself and so many others around the world. I feel that I have been forever changed because of Noah and your family and I am determined to be show more kindness to others than ever in 2013 with hopes that I can make some difference for someone. I'm also determined to take more photos of my children this year and not take any time with them for granted. You're all apart of my heart now. ♥

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    1. Beautiful sentiments, Jennifer and I feel the same way.

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  12. I will continue to read your posts about your family as long as you are kind enough to share them. Time will go on as time does but I will never ever forget about those precious children and staff that lost their lives that day in Dec.2012. Just like that tragic event on September 11 never to be forgotten. I am especially drawn to Noah. Maybe because I have two grandsons and I also teach young children. I just instantly felt such a deep loss for this child and his family. Then the helplessness of what can I possibly do to help this family....celebrate little Noah's being is what I would like to do. Thank you again Noah's grandmother for allowing us to hurt along with you.

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  13. MC- I want to thank you for sharing all this beautiful experiences you're going trough ever since
    Little Angel Noah passed away, the more i read the more i want to keep reading, because Noah will always be in our life and by just looking into his gorgeous eyes it fill me of lot of strength to not breakdown and start crying each time i look into his eyes..R.I.P

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  14. Noah is mentioned in the largest newspaper in Sweden together with others that passed away this year. Its a two pages story about farewell year 2012.
    Dagens Nyheter, Sunday 30 Dec 2012.

    /Peter

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    1. Thank you for sharing that news.

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  15. Please don't stop writing, I too love what you reflect on about Noah and how you are all coping. I am guessing what was said to Veronique was pretty insensitive while at the play area that day from another Mother. I feel so bad for Veronique, and as a Mother myself I know too well the strong bond we already have with our babies when they spend 9 months in our womb before they are born, and then that bond is ever stronger. Mother and Son also tend to be very close, as do Father and daughter, and of course siblings lose a best friend as well as a brother.

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  16. I love this picture of Noah by the way x

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  17. Thank you for letting us love Noah, too.

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  18. Ooof. Painful days. I met a friend of a friend yesterday, and she realized that I sounded familiar, and showed me that she had reposted my request for help. I appreciated it, but I also felt very distinctly, that she had no idea how much pain I felt in association with seeing that note again.
    Hugs.

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  19. Thank you for writing and letting us know Noah.

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  20. Dear MC,

    Thanking you for your posting seems so abysmally inadequate. I live in West Hartford, CT, an hour from Newtown. Yesterday, I volunteered in Newtown at a call center returning calls to people around the country who want to help in some way.

    My dear 64-year-old husband died in June 2011 of a rare, aggressive cancer - so I thought I fully understood grief - until Newtown. Each time I look at Noah's sweet ponim smiling at me in living color from my computer screen, I ache. Please know that I ache with you.

    z"l Noah

    Leann S.
    West Hartford, CT

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