Thursday, January 10, 2013

Noah Pozner: missing it all for the greater good?

Beyond the loss of Noah and the void he leaves, one of the most painful thoughts to contemplate is that he has been deprived of all his days to come: he will never know what it means to be a teenager and do things he'd rather hide from his parents, never fall in love, never hold a job, never raise a family. He and his nineteen classmates have been robbed of their future and we, as their families, now see gaping holes where their lives should continue to be intertwined with ours. I look at our own family, see our kids, their spouses, their own children and marvel at the strength of the net they weave. Noah was part of that net. Four grandkids were born to us in the space of six months in 2006-7: two boys and two girls. They would have grown together, have wild cousin meets, establish indestructible bonds. Now only three remain.
Veronique always said of her twins that they were so close to each other they would derive great strength from their bond throughout their lives. I had imagined them going out on double dates, having kids that would in turn be best friends. All this is now gone because a complete stranger who was obviously not right in his mind (if he was and still did what he did, then I don't know that he qualified as human) decided to assuage his own demons by taking as many lives as he could before taking his own and chose to do so in an elementary school where he knew nobody would be able to stop him.
I haven't spoken of this deranged boy before and won't now. I know nothing about him and I can't even bring myself to say or write his name as it would be making him too much of a person and I might be tempted to start hating. I don't want to be stuck in a place of darkness, so the only way I can deal with his actions is to blot him out, to remain numb to who he was.
I do hope however that we will find out what drove him to do what he did, if only to help prevent the recurrence of such mass murders. I fully agree that gun control is only one aspect of the tragedy and that, given the number of rampage weapons present in this country, both legal and illegal, it is probably too little, too late (although I fully support any legislation that would put a stop to the proliferation). But there is much more: there are mental health and societal issues, there may be drug or medication issues, there is the urgent need to protect our schools at least as well as we protect our banks (and allocate money to this purpose in our budgets), there are moral issues (what can we do to make our nation less violent?), etc.
Yes, much is to be done and if our country becomes safer because of the loss of twenty little kids and six of their educators on December 14, 2012, then it might be possible to think that Noah and the others didn't die in vain, that their lives were interrupted and stolen from them for the greater good.
We are not there yet. My job as Noah's grandmother is to help keep him alive in our collective mind so that he can make a difference. His loss and ours won't be less painful but they may not remain meaningless. As for the deranged boy who blotted out his future, if we ever understand what drove him to this horrific act and this new awareness helps prevent future tragedies, I might find it in my heart to use his name and maybe, maybe, one day, to try and forgive him.



76 comments:

  1. sono d'accordo, la memoria è un dovere!!! grazie, lei è fantastica!!!

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  2. Prayers from Canada

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  3. I don't believe Noah and others had to lose their lives for America to finally change what should have been changed years ago. life is a gift and what makes me so sad is that this could have been easily prevented. on the other hand Noah is now at the most perfect place. he is all the love and happiness in every heart that carry his memory. I think of him every day. Somehow he got to me. I pray for you and him. We all do.

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  4. I know if you had the opprtunity to turn the clock back before December 14th you would do so in a heart beat. Please know that Noah's life and sadly his death has changed the minds and hearts of people all over the world. I have never met Noah but I will forever be changed personally and socially. I think you will find that Noah's life and death will change the actions of elected leaders and laws protecting others for years to come. Thank you for sharing beautiful Noah with us.

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  5. MC, I have read a little of this, I can't bring myself to say person, who created all of this. The one thing that really stands out in my mind is the poor parenting that is rampant in this country. Please, do not get me wrong I am not trying to shift any blame. He ultimately made a choice. But as I read I know that if you have a mentally/socially challenged child you are not entitled to frequent mini-vacations while you leave him home alone. (An idol mind is the devil's work). I do know that if you have a mentally/socially challenged child you do not get to divorce the spouse and estrange yourself from that child for over two years and act as if you have no responsibility in the outcome of his/her actions. I am in no way looking for excuses for his actions, but I do truly believe that there are others who need to take there share of the blame in this. I am constantly amazed, especially in a financially well to do family, when a blind eye is turned their could not possibly be a problem. I myself deal with this everyday with my husbands family. When your children are small and something s wrong, people call social services, what about the child's mind in an adult body? I don't know the answers, but I do know that there are a lot of issues we must address here. Gun control, mental health, school security and responsible parenting. If you are not going to take full responsibility for your mentally challenged child, then you need to take some of your $300,000 per year alimony settlement and institutinalize this child so he/she is not a danger to anyone else. My family is in this fight with yours. Noah is always in our hearts and we have grown to love him as one of our own.xoxo

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    1. Amen to this. These are my thoughts exactly.

      Continued prayers for you and your family, MC.

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    2. Well said, I do not have a lot of respect for this family, but that is lending energy and focus to them, they don't deserve it. I agree with what you said, though.

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    3. I agree with the fact that they do not deserve any of our energy, but that puts us back to the blind eye issue. It does not go away if we ignore it. It lays their and festers like a boil. I personally think that this family needs to be made the poster family for disfunctional. The victims in this have all been placed in the public eye because they are victims. Why should the remaining perpetrators get to live their lives comfortably in private?

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    4. That is a good point, but two of the people are gone, so the dysfunctional family that remains is the father and brother. I cannot imagine living with that guilt, that he did not do more to try to help his disturbed son, and that his son is a mass murderer. God has a way of working in these situations. Having to live with that is punishment enough.

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    5. Well said, I could not agree more.

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    6. I am sure the members of that family will be feeling it for a long time to come, dysfuntional and irresponsible as they were one way or the other. They all have the same surname for one, and not many people are going to feel comfortable around that I wouldn't think.

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    7. Merci de votre partage; j'en suis très touchée. Puisse t-il vous avoir aidé dans votre deuil. Il m'est difficile de trouver les mots mais je n'oublierai pas Noah et toute sa famille. Courage dans ce long et terrible cheminement.

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  6. I read your words daily and find some solace in them. You are, no doubt, living our collective worst nightmare. But please know that your beautiful boy lives on through all of you. And now all of us as well. People (like myself) who never knew Noah in life think of him hourly, pray for him and your family daily, and task ourselves to find ways to live, do, and be better because we owe that to him. He has left a legacy. Regardless of what happens in Washington, Noah and the other children and adults lost physically that awful day, have left a mark on the world that cannot be erased. Noah's spirit and energy are strong. I believe that's one of the reasons he has captivated so many of us. He will not be ignored. There is no way for any of us to fill the gap he leaves behind in your lives, but we will live differently. Love harder. Show patience. Explore the world. Be kind. Have fun. Raise better children than ourselves. And we will do it for Noah. Because he's alive in all of us now.

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    1. Wonderfully written. I have already thought of Noah and cried on my way to dropping my son off at daycare this morning. I find myself constantly thinking of him throughout the day. He has truly captivated so many.
      Christine

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    2. I could not have said it better...we have grown as a nation to love little Noah and his entire family . Love and Hugs to you.

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  7. Mc he is alive because he mattered as his mother said they all mattered. this will shake us for change. I continue to pray for all of you.

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  8. Dear MC,

    Noah lives in my heart daily as do you, Veronique and your grandchildren. Barely an hour goes by that I don't think of you. Your reflective openness is such a great strength and you model that for all of us. Of course Veronique is incredible, look at her mother. MC, feel what you need to feel, let the anger, frustration, sadness flow as it needs to. We'll listen and send your our love. Only through letting it flow and letting it out will you get through to the other side.

    With much love and a great big hug.

    Lisa H

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    1. Yes, that is absolutely right on expressing emotions. As a nurse I can concur. It is far better and healthier to let it out than hold it all back in inside. It's healthy to express your feelings. Men tend to suppress theirs and it's a factor as to why heart disease is higher in men compared to women plus our hormone estrogen protects us women from heart disease up to menopause. I'd quote a reference for that if I had it to hand, as I studied the effects of bullying in the workplace for my dissertion at University back in 2002 and came across a couple of research articles from the Bodleian library that I used toward it on the effects of bullying, and this was related to the physiological affects on the body.

      At work I always encourage patients to express their feelings and not to feel bad about crying and just letting it out, it's also an important part of healing. Veronique would know, I realize she's a nurse too.

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  9. Noah will always be alive in my mind. He has touched me in a place I did not know existed for somone I never met. I know this sounds strange but I feel like a member of my own family has passed and I am consumed with grief. What a special person he was to be able to touch so many people with just pictures and your stories about him. He has already changed me. I am a better mommy and person now. I want to live a better life apart from all the violence and darkness of our culture. I have a 5 year old daughter and I told her about Noah and the other children. I told her their names and the things they enjoyed doing and I showed her their pictures. These children were important and I wanted her to meet them. Noah will always be alive in her mind too. We have marked the calendar and on Noah's birthday we are having a taco and pickels party. Sending you all our love today and always.

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    1. I will mark my calender too, and I feel that way too. I showed my 3 yr old Son the pictures of all the children on the front cover of People magazine here in Canada and tried to explain that something bad happened to them all by a bad man and now they don't see their Mummy anymore (not just their Mums I know), but had to simplify it to a 3 yr old and I explained this after he saw me crying and knew it was something sad, then he hugged me.
      As a Mum I do want my child to realize and not too late, that sadly not all people are good even though no one is born a bad person. And by enlightening my child to that fact it may protect him in future, such as stop him from just getting in someones car that he does not know.

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  10. MC, I want you to know that I am sharing your families story so that it will hopefully reach the right people to help bring change! Noah and the other 25 angels have already made a difference in this country. I'm sire you're aware of the profound effect this has had on so many people. Random acts of kindness are blanketing the nation, children are vowing to make the world a better place with their kindness and make this the beginning of the revolution. You are so right when you say that gun control is only one aspect but its an important one! I can only hope that the changes that need to happen come swiftly and with conviction! We as a nation need to stand up and say enough is enough!!! You do your job as Noah's Grandmother and let the people of this country and our government handle the rest!! We are raising money for safe school initiatives, first responders, scholarships, and possibly either an art center or memorial park. Please if you are up to it let me know which cause to donate to in Noah's honor... Your beautiful grandson stole my heart and I want to do something good to honor him. I can only hope this message finds you and brings you some level of comfort. My heart and prayers are with you and your family. You can email me at alysia12222115@gmail.com

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  11. Thinking of you and your family today and every day. Your strength and ability to write through this is inspirational. I'm not sure I could. I'll continue to work in my little ways to try to make this a safer place for all of our children. His death will not be meaningless.

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  12. I'm not sure if you are familiar with the shooting that occurred at dunblane primary school in Scotland. It happened in 1996 and 17 five and six year olds along with one teacher were killed. The parents of the victims fought for gun control and won. Maybe we can all look to that tragedy for some guidance. Maybe in time the families of sandy hook and dunblane can lean on each other, even if it's a world away. Some good has to come out of something so evil...

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    1. I certainly do, and very true what you say on gun control, all guns are illegal to own in the UK I can say that much and it's mostly knife attacks in the UK not guns, with no mass killings since, terrorism aside. I am from the UK and lived and worked in Scotland for 4 yrs though two years before it occurred. Murray our tennis player hid under a table when it was going on and survived it, he was a child at that school and I never realized until recently mentioned in the media. I am a fan of the tennis games too and my Dad stewards at Wimbledon and always supports Murray. I hope the US follows that example and bans guns too, I really do. People will feel safer for it, and be happier to visit the US from overseas more too I am sure.

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  13. No es fácil entender o aceptar la muerte, mucho menos la de una criatura, un hijo, un nieto, un ser inocente y puro, desprovisto de maldad. Es duro para la sociedad y mucho más difícil para la familia. Se pasa por momentos de profunda tristeza y también de rabia incontenible. De los dos sentimientos negativos, el primero es el más peligroso porque la tristeza, y su consecuente resultado: la depresión, si no la combatimos, termina por aniquilar el ánimo y vencernos. En cambio la rabia, si es canalizada, puede convertirse en acicate para luchar por el bien y la justicia. Veronique, con una entereza admirable, habló de que nosotros, como sociedad, debemos luchar por el control de las armas de fuego y no debemos adornar la fea realidad con imágenes abstractas de angelicales criaturas. Debemos enfrentar la fea realidad y denunciarla para que nadie olvide el horror de lo que ocurrió el fatídico 14 de diciembre de 2012. Con todo respeto, creo que esa debería ser su misión y la suya de ahora en adelante. El recuerdo de Noah vivirá por siempre en la memoria de quienes lo amaron, pero se debe hacer algo más para impedir que la tristeza devore hasta los recuerdos más hermosos. Es necesario lograr entender que su muerte no ha sido en vano. Nadie en su sano juicio puede desear la muerte de un inocente. Farine, con todo el dolor que la muerte de tu nieto representa, usa este medio para divulgar una misión más altruista: el control de las armas de fuego y la necesidad de crear medidas prácticas para tratar a los enfermos mentales. La maldad nunca va a desaparecer de este mundo, puesto que es inherente a todo ser humano, pero si todos procuramos controlar los medios mediante los cuales la maldad se manifiesta, habremos logrado mucho e impedido que más inocentes paguen el alto precio de la indiferencia social antes los problemas que la afligen.
    LS
    It is not easy to understand or accept death, much less that of a child, a son, a grandson, an innocent and pure, devoid of evil. It is hard for society and more difficult for the family. There are moments of deep sadness and others of uncontrollable rage. Of the two negative feelings, the first one is the most dangerous because sadness, and the resulting outcome: depression, if it is not controlled ends up destroying morale and defeat us. Instead anger, if channeled, can serve as encouragement to fight for right and justice. Veronique, with admirable fortitude, said that we as a society, must fight for control of firearms and should not decorate the ugly reality with abstract images of angelic creatures. We must face the ugly truth and report it so nobody forget the horror of what happened that fateful December 14, 2012. With all my respect, I think that this should be her mission and yours from now on. The memory of Noah will live forever in the memories of those who loved him, but something else must be done in order to prevent sadness to devour his most beautiful memories. It is necessary to understand that his death was not in vain. Nobody in their right mind would want the death of an innocent. Farine, with all the pain that the death of your grandson represents, use this medium to disseminate a more altruistic mission: the control of firearms and the need for practical measures to treat the mentally ill. Evil will never disappear from this world for is inherent to all human beings, but if we all try to control the means by which evil manifests itself, we will have achieved a lot and prevented many innocents pay the high price of social indifference before the problems that afflict them.
    LS

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    1. EMOTIONS...
      I am grieving for Noah and the other 25 lives lost.
      I am angry because it happened.
      I am mad because people fill the need to own an arsonal.
      I am sad for the families.
      I fill guilty for bringing children into THIS world.
      At what point do we ball all of this up and throw it back?

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    2. MC- This event has changed me and my outlook on gun control. I'm a staunch supporter of the Constitution (after all, I took an oath to defend and uphold it). I was a steadfast believer in the "people" having a defense against a tyrannical governement. I was the first one shouting, "Gun control is not the answer" after Columbine, Aurora, and all the others. But this one was different. This one left me re-examining my beliefs and I came out on the other side of the issue. I still believe Americans have a fundamental right given to us in the 2nd Amendement, and that we will never elimate all the guns in America. But enough is enough. There is no reason that Americans should have access to assault weapons that can spray 100 rounds of ammunition in less than a minute. NO.REASON.AT.ALL. The argument that it is another layer of protection against a government take over is preposterous. The government will always have bigger and better weapons. They have missile launchers...should every American be permitted to keep one in their gun cabinet just in case? Should civilians be allowed to stow fighter jets in their garage just in case?...No, of course not. That would be ridiculous. But so is the prospect of machines designed for quick and efficient killing being in the hands of civilians.

      My point is this. The tides are turning. I can feel it. It happened to me. I changed. Enough is enough. I support you!

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    3. *government/Amendment- I swear I know how to spell.

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    4. Amen to that. Blowing people away to make a point is not the answer.

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    5. I have re-examined my beliefs as well. I am a gun owner; lately I don't think it is such a good idea to have unlimited access. I do not begrudge hunters, target shooters, or sportsmen. But why do we need all of these mass casualty weapons. This one is the game changer. I hope there are more like us who change their minds on the issue.

      Eric
      Burke VA

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  15. This is what I think is the absolute saddest part of this heartbreaking situation. Noah and his twin sister were supposed to go through milestones together. They were supposed to celebrate Bar/Bat Mitzvah, graduations, etc. It's just all so unfair. And your family just seems so wonderful, so NICE, so kind. The fact that Veronique is an oncology nurse speaks volumes to the kind of person she must be, and the kind of person you are, MC. My mother-in-law is an oncology nurse and she is a tremendously kind person. My husband is a colon cancer survivor, and the nurses are his real heroes. I just can't fathom why this would happen to such good people. It breaks my heart. I would do anything to take this pain away.

    --Jen

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  16. I cry daily for your boy and all the others lost that day. I hold my kids a little tighter every day and I sit here thinking of so much more we could and should do to keep them safe at school. I just dot know who or were to make these sugestions to? I just wish that it wouldnt have taken such a day in your lifes to make the world wake up. May your grandson( and the othe 26 inocent) liveone in your heart and the hearts off the world he is sadly missed by so many he will never know here. <3

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    1. So do I cry daily, and every day I look at those children's faces. I refuse to ever forget them. They deserve to be kept alive, and this way we can keep them all alive. I keep wishing I could have been there to prevent that gunman out somehow, or deter him by calling 911 before he even got through those doors. It's natural to want to protect children as far as possible.

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  17. MC, as the emotions of this situation are starting to shift from grieving to being angry that it happened I want you to rest assured that we grieve, non the less. Noah is a precious face and memory for all of us I do believe. In this battle for what really matters in this world Noah will be very present in our hearts every step that we walk. Noah's sibblings will be very proud that even though he was only with us for a little while he had a huge impact on the world. As they grow and mature they be be able to hold their heads high and with great pride each and every time they speak of their brother, Noah Pozner.

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  18. From such heartache and tragedy, if some common good and sensible legislative action is enacted, I suppose that may be the good that comes out of it. Noah and the other angels never had a fighting chance to experience what we all take for granted: life in all its glory, mundaneness, hassles and frustrations and love and accomplishments.

    This "thing" took that away from them. I am not a doctor and I know that mental illness is awful, but there is evil in this world too. I just hope and pray that you and your family are comforted by those around you and precious memories of Noah. We are all grieving with you and we will do whatever it takes to help prevent this from ever occuring again.

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    1. People aren't generally born evil though, they tend to become that way for one reason or another dependent on their environment they're brought up in, violence around them, drugs, head injuries etc. Depression too is a mental illness, which needs to be treated and never ignored.

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  19. MC,
    I can only imagine how you feel about the killer. Even I can't write his name as I have chosen to remember names of the victims. They are the ones that mattered and it is devastating to see how everything changed for them just in split seconds. A void was created by evil which no one can fill now. One thing I do want to say is that we as Americans should focus more on things that are happening here instead of other places. We stick our noses in other parts of the world to better them. But what about the people here? Schools lack funds, taechers are underpaid. Out healthcare sytem sucks. When a sick person can't get the help he/she needs due to the cost, then we as a society have failed. We are all about protecting the 2nd ammendment because our forefathers sacrificed their lives for it. What about the right to live in a peaceful world where kids can grow up, go to school and become someone. Are our lives so cheap compared to right to own weapons?I persoanlly think that guns should be banned. All of them period. But at the same time, I think our leaders should start focusing on what we have here first. Untill that happens, we will continue to see innocent lives being taken away. I also blame the killer's mother indirectly for what happened. She knew her son was not well yet taught him shooting from a very early age. I am a mother also and I would never teach my kids to shoot at such tender age. Especially if my child is not well. The end result was her being shot by her own guns by her own son. Again I am sorry for loss of lives that dreadful day and hope that some good comes out of it. Prayers to you all.

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  20. I wish we could understand why this individual did what he did. I think you are correct about him going to a place where he felt powerful and that his victims were powerless. It is so, so sad and I shed tears everyday for those wonderful, beautiful children and their teachers, especially your Noah. Your words are transcendent about your grandson. I think about him not being able to grow up and experience all his firsts (driving, first kiss, going to college, figuring out who and what he wants to be, getting married, having children). It is heartbreaking that someone who obviously was not happy in life decided to make it his purpose to desecrate the lives of 26 families, which in turn, has negatively effected thousands and thousands of people. It bothers me immensely that one persons' hurt/hatred can cause so much grief. I ache for your family and pray that your "net" continues to remain strong. I know there will be days when it will weaken (holidays, birthdays, looking back at a particular photo or thinking of a fond memory), but please know that so many of us are here to listen to your stories when those days come. I also ache for your two youngest granddaughters as they will not be able to grow up with their brother. Arielle and Noah came into this world together and it is heartbreaking that she has to experience her "firsts" without her best friend to confide in. I know he will always be with her in spirit, however. Thank you again for allowing us to become part of your world. It is a honor getting to know your grandson through your thoughts and memories and I hope you will continue to share as long as you need.

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    1. Agreed, MC is intelligent and wise to correctly figure out that he did it to gain power and control that he lacked until then, for sure. And it sounds like he intended to take out that whole school as he would have carried if not for hearing that first police car or policeman enter the school, then the coward took the easy way out and that makes many of us angry too. I blame that perpetrators Mother to a good extent, from all I have read her friends stated she was of very high standards and particular, so maybe she was overly strict and controlling of her son that he consequently felt overly suppressed, but that still does not excuse him. I don't feel there is any excuse for what he did. We all have a choice and he made a very bad, evil and wrong one. He could have stopped what he did after his Mother, and maybe turned that gun on himself too and not carried on to that school. At least all those children and their families would still be intact with no major loss to this world as a result.

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  21. In a little town 15 minutes away from where I live a 16 year old boy just shot another student and a teacher. They airlifted the student to the hospital he is in critical condition. The teacher will survive. The town is called Taft in CA. I live in Bakersfield CA. What is happening? Our world is sick please pray for us. I'm a teacher and to be honest I'm scared.

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    1. I just heard about the shooting too. Why I ask and when will it stop? I am a mother and I am afraid to leave my kids in school. God bless America :(

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    2. I read about that too. It's shocking, let's hope a gun ban comes sooner rather than later. I would hate for more children to end up this way, I hate that these children had it happen to them at all. Life can be so cruel and so unfair.

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  22. MC -
    I live in NYC and lived through 9/11 which at the time one of the worst tragedies on American soil. I was here in ny the day that happened. I was 13 years younger without children at that time and only after i had my two little boys a few years back did i realize how horrible it was for the children of those victims to have to grow up without their mothers or fathers (or grandparents) for such nonsensical violence.

    Fast forward to today a few weeks since December 14th and i find myself feeling similarly. That again a horrible nonsensical tragedy happens on American soil - this time stealing the lives (and as you said) futures of these young beautiful children. This time however parents and grandparents having to outlive their children. And as a parent i know as you and your daughter know how precious those lives were that were taken. That everyday you spend all of your energy coming to terms with something that you should have never had to comprehend or accept. That must be so hard. It must be so exhausting. The ache in your heart must be so deep for a little boy that you loved so much. A little boy who deserved all of the same chances to fall in love (as you mentioned), own a taco factory or fly to the moon. I am sorry that this country failed to prevent December 14th from happening and I am sorry that you lost your grandson. My thoughts are with you and your family.

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  23. Is that your son on Anderson Cooper?

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  24. We've all heard variations of these before - but they are really so true, and comforting for all of us who have lost loves ones:

    - They live in our hearts, forever.
    - As long as we live, they shall live too.

    MC, I am very sorry for your family's tragic loss. Thank you for sharing Noah with us. A little bit of him will now live in our hearts as well. I like to think that when you talk so beautifully about your grandson, an angel full of blessings goes between here and Heaven.


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    1. I am really grateful to you too MC and your family for sharing him with us, and his pictures, he was such a beautiful gorgeous little boy, and would have been a heart breaker when older I am sure, with his lovely personality to match.

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  25. Dear MC,

    Noah is so happy on this picture! He was always on the run, always doing something. What a wonderful way to remember him:) Like somebody said as long as we live they shall live too. There is story said to young kids by jewish Rabbi about how we remember family member after they pass away: one day boy came to his grandfather and asked him when he (grandfather) is going to die, to which grandfather responded to his grandchild: when you die I will die too. The boy started to cry and told his father that grandfather told him that he will die after he dies. The son got angry and came to his father asking why would he say something like that to a child. Grandfather told his son that when his grandchild will die there wont be anyone else to remember his grandfather:( Little Noah would be remembered by too many people: his big family and everyone whom he touched thru your stories about him and pictures of him:)
    with love Irina

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    1. I think it also means a big part of us dies when we lose a child.

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  26. thank you so much for sharing your beautiful thoughts about Noah. when the tragedy occurred on Friday, I knew the next day photos would be posted of the beautiful, innocent children and I knew I would be unable to bear the sadness. For some reason, the first image I saw was your little Noah and I sobbed uncontrollably. I could tell it was taken in his school and it looked remarkably like my sons elementary school. I just could not believe that this beautiful baby had been alive there and happy and I wanted to turn back time for all of you. I think of Noah every day many times. He reminds me so much of my youngest son Tyler who shares the same type of big eyes with beautiful long eyelashes, so rarely seen in a little boy. I take delight that Noah was such a happy boy and also love that he was a bit mischievous as well. He will remain alive in my mind and heart forever and you better believe that I hold my boys even tighter and will never let them take part in this violent culture that has been created whether it be the use of awful video games, morbid shows or a fascination with guns. something definitely needs to change and I agree with another person who commented about parenting.....this type of lazy parenting I see is just unacceptable. I hope people wake up and realize that we all as parents, educators etc have to constantly connect with our children. Noah would have added much to our society and become a wonderful man and we must not let his death be in vain. I am praying every night for all the children and adults who died but even more for all those who now have to live without the angels who walked on earth. XOXO

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    1. I think that very wise and responsible. I already made my rule a long time ago that my child will not have violent tv films to view, and nor will he be sat in playing computer games all day or even part of the day, I haven't introduced him to computers yet and am refraining as long as possible, I have set up parental controls on mine already in case, he's age 3 but never too young to mess around with things. A handheld mario game is okay though. My Dad always made us turn the tv off if we turned it on in the morning, and we'd be told to go out and play. Similarly I take my child outdoors daily, or indoor play, swimming, ice skating, and sign him up for programmes such as creative movement, ice skating lessons, his days are mostly full of play, plus I read to him. He is going to Montessori again soon. There are no social skills to be gained from violent films or computer games. I've seen it within family friends overseas some years back, the youngest, a girl was very social and outgoing, I helped teach her to swim while staying with them, the older boy was the opposite and living on computer games all day and I was worried, he had no social skills and was not social at age 9 approx and I pointed out to his Mother that she ought to limit that to one hour a day max and nip it in the bud sooner rather than later, as he's not social or outgoing at all and it's not good, that computer won't help him. She listened to that, agreed and thanked me and said she would do that and straight away told him to get off the computer and that it would be one hour a day only from now on. I/m not sure if it lasted after I left that week visit, as years later he's all grown up and a computer programmer or in IT, I should have guessed he would never lose his love of computers one way or another but at least in an educational way and not playing games day in day out.

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  27. MC.......I want to believe that good will come from this horrible tragedy. Although I can't think of anything worth the lives of our precious youth. Noah was robbed. Another day full of love snd prayers for Noah and your family.

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  28. Oh wow, I can comment on autistic children. I have one myself. He is my oldest. And throughout the past 9 years, we have had play dates with other autistic children. Through my awareness, there are many parents who have these kids, and don't pay attention to them. These children are actually very loving in their own individual way. But when their world gets turned into a frenzy, and they have nobody to lead them into this hectic world, these children can become violent. They will take it out on anyone and do anything. They have no remorse, because they simply don't understand this world nor the consequences. So, in this case, I'm sorry, the mom should have been there for her child and committed him into the hospital for further testing. And definitely not have left a gun(guns) in a child's presence. I will call him a child, because my impression is that his mind was on a child's level. Children with autism, need a loving family to guide them. All he knew, is that his guidance was about to abandon him. AS someone mentioned before in here, Parents are NOT being parents. It is our duty to humanity to get the help for our child if they become ill, mentally ill or violent. Its sad to see and witness this on a daily basis when I go out. Why doesn't Congress consider it to "fine" parents for not reporting a child who is in these circumstances? I've noticed more and more children needing a lot more mental help. I think Congress needs to come up with ways to help parents get their children mental help, even if they cannot afford it. These children are our future. And this is becoming a problem. It shouldn't have come this far. I say fine the parents, and give them jail time for failure to report it. I didn't even know Noah, but I miss him everyday. He is the first thought that pops into my mind when I wake up. This whole gun issue is also out of control. How are all of these kids getting access to these guns??? Irresponsible parenting! LOCK your guns up people! Don't even let your children see your guns or know that you have one. Like Congresswoman Gabby Giffords stated, "Enough". Parents please love your kids, and just because they turn 18, realize that some children can't handle life on their own. And realize that when you have a child, the truth is, your child may have to live with you until your dying day. If your child is mentally unstable, let them live with you, let them know you care, and get them help if they need it. If you don't want a child living with you, then don't have kids. But for the rest of us who love our kids, please be responsible and do the right thing. My child was diagnosed with Aspergers. The same condition that this other kid had. Well, my child is 9, and has asked to go shooting guns, or to go hunting. But sorry, I am being a responsible parent and not allowing it. I love my kids, and I don't want him hurting others. I care too much. So I choose to not even have a gun in my house either. I hope this message gets out to Congress. Staring with the mentally unstable, and irresponsibility of parents.....might be where we need to start. I wish I could turn time back. So none of these beautiful kids were taken so brutally. God do I wish that.

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    1. You're right, and it's societies responsibility too for sure. I know nowadays people tend to turn a blind eye as they don't want to get targetted and hurt by the wrong person, but when I first moved to Canada in 2007 I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was encouraged to take a national responsibility of reporting child abuse for example. So if you witnessed anything that should not be happening you report it to the authorities not just expect or rely on the parents to do that and turn a blind eye. That way everyone is taking responsibility and protecting that child from a fatal result, and similarly, the same can and should apply for someone who is mentally ill, or what ever the issue. If it makes the world safer for it then it's a good thing. Some parents are irresponsible by ignoring issues, or are bad examples to their offspring, and they are helping no one.

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  29. Another thing, Children should have close supervision while at school. They need qualified personnel to watch for these types of children. I have witnessed many myself who need help. Just from watching bullying, to kids trying to kill animals on the school playground. I've already brought this up to school principal. Well, I didn't get far. The volunteers who supervise, couldn't even tell me that my kid busted his head at school, while in their presence. So, Start with our children. Maybe one day, Congress can get their act together, put qualified people in schools to monitor unstable behavior, and treat these kids who need it. And don't forget, there are parents who are in "denial" of this unruly or unstable behavior. Congress, Please step it up. Mental health is becoming a crisis in that generation. We all love Noah, and I pray for Veronique. I just want to reach out to her and give her a hug. I plan on doing the 24 acts of kindness......they will all be in Noah's memory! To Noah's grandma, if you could reply one day, I would love to have a taco recipe, and a favorite bread recipe that Noah loved. Because I officially have declared Nov 20, Taco Day! I would like to have a recipe to cook on that day. But kind of need your help. Maybe if you could post it.......we all can have a Taco day for Noah! I would like to make it, Noah style! God bless. Looking forward to having, Tacos - Bread - Pickles - Oreos......let us know what else we can put on the list!

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    1. Hello Daniel, I will ask Veronique for Noah's favorite taco recipe as her recipe is slightly different from mine (both are super simple though and based on taco dinner kits readily available from all grocery stores). I know he didn't like avocado (which both she and I always offer with tacos, either sliced or in guacamole form). As for bread, I would be hard put to pinpoint Noah's favorite. He pretty much had every bread you can see on my blog and loved them all. He was a true breadhead! One day when things slow down a bit and I go back home, I will try and come up with a simple bread recipe that could become "Noah's loaf" but the truth of the matter is that he didn't have favorites. Thank you for making November 20 Taco Day! What a sweet idea...
      Noah loved radishes, onions, hot sauce, all stuff his siblings don't like. He wasn't a big meat eater (in fact around the ages of 2 and 3, he kept an almost vegetarian diet) but he loved "porchetta" (slow-roasted pork tenderloin marinated in olive oil, garlic, fennel and mustard seeds). He could not get enough of that last summer when the family came to stay at our cabin by the river and asked me to make it over and over.

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    2. Also, let me know what cake he liked. I plan on having a birthday cake for him on Nov 20. I want to continue to sing Happy Birthday to Noah. I believe he should have a birthday. My son was born Sept 13, 2006. He has those long eyelashes too. Him and Noah were just a couple months apart. My son saw his picture and thought it was of himself. Only difference is my son has dirty blonde hair. Every time I look at my son, I now think of Noah. Veronique was right, he was a little man. Sounds like he had the taste of an Adult! I look forward to your recipes. We've never made bread before. So, this will be our first attempt! Definitely one recipe I won't give up on! My husband and I share same email. So when I write, it shows his name. My name is Christina. Just wanted to clarify who I was! Sorry for any confusion! I'm also a twin. I was the one who went through the spell of being a vegetarian. My twin loved meat.
      I wouldn't be surprised if Arielle has dreams where Noah comes to visit her in them. Like I said before, and you may realize this down the road. Twins have a different connection to this world. Like we are on a different wavelength from everyone else here on Earth. And Noah will always be there for her. I pray for your family every day. Take care, love from my family to yours....

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  30. Twins. I have read up on twins before now, and seen documentaries and it's all very close knit and interesting what I learned. A documentary I saw focused on how two male twins were living in different countries as they grew up, and when studied years later, the things they did and liked were all too similar it was a real eye opener. So it's not at all surprising to me how twins are so close, more close than a brother and sister of 2 yrs apart as my brother and I were, I can believe. Not to mention the fact they grew together from the start in the womb for up to 9 months. I was also at school with twins in my year and I noticed their personalities though a brother and sister, were very much alike. Perhaps Noah can live on in his sister and that may be of some comfort to Noah's family too.

    I think of that film, 'back to the future' and wish we could turn back time at times like this and reverse what happened and change the scene to something far more positive. I know wishing doesn't change anything but if only.. I would do so in a heartbeat to bring them all back to their families and if I could have protected those sweet little children myself, like many of us, I would have. The sad part of it is, no one knew until it was already too late, and that is no ones fault especially not the parents whose natural instinct is to protect their children and keep them safe. I only hope they don't feel guilty for not being able to prevent what could not easily be prevented on their part, but it's natural to feel guilt of course it is, especially when they are your blood as family is. 'Blood is always thicker than water', a term I always knew from my own country in England, meaning family is stronger and closer to one another than anyone who is outside of that network. The loss must be unbearable, and it really saddens me.

    I felt very sad too about how Noah and the other children were robbed of their futures and taken away as they were, as well as the love of their family networks. Awful is the absentness of a person in their lives they were so used to having around them and listening to on a regular basis, and suddenly it's taken away from them. I feel so bad for Noah's sisters and his cousins who are one less of their foursome and now must adjust to that because they too were not given the choice.

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  31. "Only the good die young". That is how I see it when valuable good people are taken away too soon, it was a despicable cowardly act how Noah was robbed of his future and life by someone who was a complete coward and planned what he did as a psychologist noted in this field, they don't just do these things at random, somewhere along the line he planned it, and maybe his Mother had suppressed and controlled him so much that his resulting explosive anger and rage came out in all the wrong ways as a result.
    I read that most in his town never knew him despite him being a neighbour, that his Mother took him out of his schooling as she disagreed with their recommendations, when maybe she ought to have listened to them. Why that irresponsible Mother of his who taught him how to use that weapon and was gun obsessed did not act at all is beyond me, even recently when she alerted a friend of hers to the fact he was changing for the worst and she could no longer connect to him, yet had she bothered to do so this awful tragedy could have been prevented, similarly if she had not trained him with how to use those things in the first place. I couldn't read about him until recently as I didn't want to focus or read about someone so cruel and undeserving of my time, and who did so much evil and I chose not to mention his name ongoing either as I don't want to keep a memory of that person or whatever he was alive, dysfunctional, and deranged are just some of the terms that rightly describe him. I only read about him recently as I too wanted to know 'why?', why did he have to do this at all? He must have planned it too for the fact he destroyed the hard drives on his computer so the police could not find out anything that way either, he covered his tracks. He wore earplugs because firing a machine gun is extremely hard on the ears, and on a gun range in a controlled environment as in the forces, they make you wear ear defenders for that reason. I don't want to focus too much on what those poor victims must have felt on hearing it go off, I have but only to myself. I think sensitivity is important especially on this blog.

    As I mentioned elsewhere, that selfish person should just have fired all those bullets at his own head and body not taken it out on innocent sweet young children with a far better future ahead of them than what he obviously had, and so maybe there was an element of jealousy there too. I say jealousy as from my own personal experience I've never encountered and experienced anything so nasty as jealousy. Now scientists are DNA testing him to try and find out what made him and could potentially make others do this awful act of unkindness to others, I am not sure if that will prove anything, but good luck to them for trying.

    It's 'Better to have love and lost than never to have loved at all', I hope that doesn't sound awful, I meant it was a blessing that Noah was here for 6 years and had such a loving caring family to enjoy his life with and grow with who loved him very much and who were loved by beautiful Noah, even if it was for a short time. I prefer and choose to keep alive the beautiful memory of Noah and the life he had with his family and focus more on that ongoing, as well as the other young children who were so wrongly robbed of their lives not the monster who robbed them all. God bless them, I hope they forever will rest in peace XX

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  32. 'Denial', I believe that is right on the perpetrators Mother. His Mother was definitely in denial and her being overprotective of him also did not help with regard to the help that boy of hers needed, if she hadn't been in denial, she'd have had him institutionalized or treated along time ago. She suffered from her the consequences of her own actions too, he took her out first. MC is right, it's many factors not just one, but eliminating one, or eliminating one at a time will certainly help make the US much safer, and not just the US asthe same can be said for other countries across the globe one way or another with regard to what ever issues exist time and again.

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  33. Someone mentions 'responsible parenting'. I could not agree more. It really worries me how I come across some parents who are not demonstrating positive role modeling behaviours at all, one example is swearing and yelling at a member of the public in front of their children, smoking etc, children model and learn from the behaviours of their parents and their influences for sure. I have long thought that some people should not just be allowed to have children unless they first pass a qualification and an exam to prove they will at least first be responsible parents, children and the worlds future deserves that much x That irresponsible parent who raised that dysfunctional child, also failed society miserably, as did the other parent who had not seen or maintained contact in ages evidently.

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  34. Sorry, last comment here. The other issue, and one my Dad has always said for a long time, is they should not show so many violent films on television, that is also another issue that should be addressed, and the same could be said for computer games that influence violence since those type of games would.

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  35. Thank you, MC for "swimming Noah" today.
    Julia

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  36. MC, you have raised some important points. For all the families it will be hard over time to accept that so many opportunities have been lost. As parents and grandparents there are so many milestones that are marked out and what we look forward to. In regards to Arielle, life celebrations and stages maybe particularly hard as she should be sharing those with her beloved brother Noah. Somehow she will have to find a way to incorporate his memory into these events or reflect on him as the twin bond is very strong.
    I agree that it is necessary to find out why this crime was committed so that as a society we can learn how to prevent this madness from occurring again. Sadly you are right .. he chose the most vulnerable members of the community to attack ... those who were too small to protect themselves. It is imperative that as a whole society we have to stand up and say 'enough is enough' and that this level of violence will not be tolerated. We can no longer normalise violence. Obviously gun control is an important start. However, more importantly I think the government needs to address mental health programs and funding and violence in our society. I believe to understand violence, research should be conducted with adolescents to learn why are so angry or why have they become detached from society. Perhaps programs that reach out to troubled youth and have mentors etc maybe helpful. Lastly the family unit needs to come to the forefront as solid families act to stabilise children in their lives. Just thoughts ...

    Thinking of you,

    Michele T

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  37. MC, I just wanted you to know that I pray for you and your family each morning when I wake. I can't offer breads (what I do with flour is just dreadful), but what I can reassure you of is that I will be there wen the time comes for you and your family to make a stand. As a mother, I promise to be a better one and to raise three little boys to love, respect and value all that is living. We love you and yours.

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  38. I heard the priest from the Catholic Church in Newtown state that there are 20 more Saints or Angels now. So, yes, Saints generally are martyrs and they endure suffering for our sins. I don't know if this is a comfort to you, but I will pray for your grandson's soul, as well as the other children's souls.

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    1. There little souls are in heaven, right next to our Creator. The are eating tacos, playing on a brand new Wii, and loving everything. They will never know fear, harm or sadness again. Their souls are much better off than the majority of ours.

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  39. I appreciate reading your writings about Noah. I shall always remember him as if he were a member of my family. His joyful expression in the photos you posted demonstrate his love for people and for life, which continues through the memories of him kept by his family, his real-life friends, and all the internet friends who only knew him after he died. I will keep your family and all the other Newtown families in prayer during this time.
    I was wondering if there was a particular song which Noah liked. If so, I would like to remember him also with this song if possible, since music is the language of the soul. Thank you.

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  40. I have never heard anyone who could articulate the gravity of a tragic situation like you and your daughter,Veronique. I am in awe of the tremendous strength and courage you both have shown to the world.

    Like many of us, I am constantly thinking of this event, and then previous feelings of sudden loss I have experienced in the recent past bubbled to the surface: Why did this happen? Is this part of a larger plan that I don't see right now? But why, it's so unfair and tragic?!

    And then the Book of Esther dawned on me after seeing this post. With all respect, perhaps your family was put in this position "for a time like this".

    Please forgive me for stepping over my boundaries because it is too soon to even suggest this, especially when your family is deeply grieving. I also don't want to assume your family's purpose during its journey on Earth. But perhaps you may want to reflect on it at the right time and continue to be the strong, intelligent voice of positive change in our schools and in society so our children can live in a safe and peaceful world. It's cruel for this tragedy to fall in your lap, but if anyone can articulate the impact of this tragedy, I believe your family can, and I will support your efforts 1000%.

    Sending much love and prayers of comfort your way.

    May peace find a way,
    MK

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  41. MC,

    I came across this story in my local newspaper today. It's a great story and shows how the victims of Sandy Hook have been an inspiration to other people. I hope this link works and you get to read it. I'm sure it will help you feel better.

    http://www.theguardian.pe.ca/News/Local/2013-01-11/article-3154547/Mother-and-daughter-answer-bad-with-good/1

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  42. I believe with all my heart, with absolutely no doubt that Noah is is running, jumping, playing, laughing, loving, being completely and totally loved, and being silly. I believe that he has moved onto a peace and happiness that all who are still here can't even begin to fathom. My prayers are for his beautiful family, his friends, all who knew this precious-precious-precious little boy and everybody on our planet who has shed tears over this tragedy.

    To Veronigue: In the blink of Noah's beautiful eyes, you will see him again.

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  43. Nothing to offer but love and sympathy as you continue to share your grief with so many strangers, like me, who hold your families in prayer every day. I think of Noah many times a day. The pictures and stories of him and the other children touch my heart, my mother's heart. It is good for all to hear you speak on the issues at play, too.

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  44. I basically became active in Twitter just to follow you, MC. Thank you once again for your posts. After Dec 14, I too have held my children harder and a lot more often. My patience has increased tremendously towards my kids and I make sure we don't have a bad morning before school. This horrible event reminded me again how we are all on borrowed time. I pray for your family and all the others, I still grief for them. Much love from a mom with a 7 yr old girl and an 8yr old boy, Atlanta Georgia.

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  45. Noah will always be in my heart. He's now in a amazing place .

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