None of us can really imagine what it would be like to be one of the parents of a child murdered at Sandy Hook. But, having lost someone who meant the world to me, I am familiar with at least some of the kinds of thoughts that could torment the parents:
What if he died calling out my name, wondering where I was when he needed me? What if the last thing stored in his brain was the thought that I had failed him? Oh my God. Six years old! He was just 6 years old! He was so INNOCENT! Why oh why oh why?
What if murdered children are trapped between here and heaven? What do I have to do to help him get all the way to heaven? I’ll do ANYTHING, God. Just tell me what to do!
What if there is no heaven? What if he just no longer exists? I mustn’t let his mother know I think this. She would come apart if she couldn’t believe he is in heaven.
Six years old! He was so looking forward to Christmas. Now he will have no more Christmas’. He never even got to have a girlfriend. Goddamn, what a screwed up world.
He was so innocent. A precious child. Why couldn’t it have been me? How do I avenge his death? What did I do wrong, God? Why did you have to take my child? How can you expect me to love you now? If I did something that was so wrong, why not just kill me?
The mortician said that at least he did not suffer, but what if he is lying to keep me from knowing that my baby boy was in great pain the last 10 minutes of his life? What if that’s just what doctors and morticians are trained to say?
Can he see me and his mom crying? Does he know what has happened to him?
Maybe it’s all just a really bad dream. Or maybe I’m the one who is really dead. That sort of makes sense, that I died and am living in my own private hell, the worst hell my mind could have created.
But it feels more horrible than that. It feels worse than hell would feel. So he must really be dead, even though it makes no sense at all.
Don’t talk to me about your fear of losing your right to own a bazooka, or how we should lock up everyone who might be a nutcase. You just don’t fucking get it.