There were many times over the weekend when I wanted to sit down to share my thoughts on the Sandy Hook school shootings. I composed entire columns in my head, but could not get them down.
As journalist, writing is what I do, so it should be easy for me, right?
But it isn't.
I tried and failed several times to write about those 20 children and six adults. I couldn't do it.
Each time I tried, my mind kept going back to my two boys, ages 10 and 11, and my mind froze. I cannot — I will not — face the thought of them not being here, of them not being with me. My mind will not go to that place.
Yet, there are 20 families of very young children and families of six adults who don't have that luxury. Their minds have to go there. They have no choice.
How do they do it? How do they go on?
What those parents wouldn't give to be able to yell for the millionth time about why we don't bounce balls off the living room wall or wrestle on the couch.
How they must have wished for a normal Saturday morning, kissing their kids hello, letting the dogs out, making breakfast.
I am lucky my biggest worry is whether or not my boys are going to knock the Christmas tree down as they chase each other through the living room.
Fights over the remote control are no big deal.
Nagging them over homework or picking up their clothes reminds me they are home and safe.
I am so very lucky that on Friday afternoon, I picked them up from school. They were happy and healthy, and oblivious to the awful news from Newtown, Conn.
I kissed them goodnight Friday and tucked them in their beds, safe from the world outside, safe for another night.
As journalists, we are taught to be objective and to keep our opinions to ourselves, but I don't know how you do that in this instance. I watched veteran network news anchors break down on the air when relaying stories about those beautiful children, and the heroic teachers and school administrators at Sandy Hook.
I've thought very little about the gunman. I understand he was mentally ill and that is something as a society we have to deal with, but right now my thoughts are with the victims and their families. My thoughts are with those people who cannot block the loss of their children from their minds because it is not a nightmare, it is a reality. It is their story.
Kathleen Murphy is the editor of The Chelsea Standard and Dexter Leader. Contact her at (734) 429-7380, firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @kathleeneditor.