Imagining Nancy Lanza

In a tragedy like Sandy Hook, grief comes at us from all directions. First it was the children. First graders make us smile and feel uncomplicated joy at being alive. As parents, we can feel the stabbing pain of newly bereaved Newtown mothers and fathers, but we don’t have to be parents to feel that loss.Then Victoria Soto’s memorial overwhelmed me. Two of my daughter’s best friends are elementary school teachers; I felt their bravery and vulnerability in a whole new way. On Monday a CNN interview with principal Dawn Hochsprung’s teary, twentysomething daughter Erica, begging her mother to “come back, just come back” undid me, making me miss my own mother and think about my daughter someday missing me. All of us have multiple identities that let pain find us in so many different ways.The only person I haven’t been able to think about is Nancy Lanza, the first victim, shot in her bed with her own gun by her own son, the terminally ill Adam. I shrink from the story despite the fact — or because of it — that we had things in common. She was close to my age, divorced, with children in their 20s. But I’ve been blessed; my daughter is as much a joy today as she was as a first grader.Continue Reading…

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Imagining Nancy Lanza

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