The Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting is about as senseless as senseless can get. After killing his mother at home, the murderer travels to the school to deliberately target the kindergarten students. There is still a question as to what connection his mother had with the class.

The more we hear about this horrific crime, the more incomprehensible it gets.

Four trauma units were readied at Danbury hospital. Over 80 staff members waited for an expected high number of injured. Only a handful arrived. Most of the 28 fatalities (mostly children) had died at the scene.

This all happened at a time when the parents of most early elementary school children worry more about challenges to their sons and daughters belief in Santa Claus, than their safety at school. Yet, less than two weeks before Santa’s arrival, 20 Sandy Hook five-year-olds have been robbed of their lives. Their surviving schoolmates, stripped of their innocence.

The hurt will sting even more as the shock factor wears off and even as it begins to heal. As the feeling comes back, we must start to try to make some sense of the senseless. Look deep into the most obvious causes of the tragic effects: troubled individuals, troubled families, troubled times and the too accessible means to act out one’s inner demons: guns.

But for now, for this weekend, and through the weeks of this holy season that has turned to a mourning season, let us pray for the peaceful repose of the children and adults who lost their lives and for the comfort of those who loved them.

Laura B Hayden is the author of STAYING ALIVE: A LOVE STORY, a memoir of loss and recovery.


Laura B. Hayden

Laura B. Hayden

Laura spent her childhood in Brooklyn, NY, and her teens in Enfield, CT, where she went on to teach and freelance for regional publications. She married, raised her daughter and son through her thirties and forties, and was widowed before she turned fifty.Ten years later, she began writing about this loss in a memoir that completed the requirements for an MFA in Writing at Western Connecticut State University in 2010. Her writing can be found on Her print work has appeared in “The Hartford Courant,” “Northeast” magazine, the “Journal Inquirer,” “Connecticut Parent,” “Hartford Woman,” and “Imprint” publications. She is a graduate of the Western Connecticut State University MFA in Creative and Professional Writing program. In 1995 her essay, “Saved by the Belle” took first place in the First Annual Mark Twain Days Essay Contest on American Politics & Government, judged by Russell Baker, Garry Trudeau, and Joyce Chadwick-Joshua. Last year “Nesting,” an essay from her memoir, received an honorable mention from “Connecticut Review,” a journal published by the Connecticut State University system. Laura teaches writing at Asnuntuck Community College in Enfield, CT.

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