I have been watching the news coverage of the shootings in Newtown, CT on and off for the last two days.  The innocent lives taken from this community within minutes has been heartbreaking to watch, but yet I can’t help myself.  The trauma, pain and shock that these people have had to endure is staggering.  Many of the people that follow me on this blog know the pain of losing a child.  Although our circumstance are all different, we all know what it’s like to hear the words “your child has died.”  These are words that never leave you.

Watching Robby Parker, father of little Emilie, try to talk about his little girl was heartbreaking as he tried to hold it together.  He is a proud father telling the world how special this little girl is and sharing her with millions of people while also trying to help the others that have also been inflicted by this horrific event.  As a fellow grieving dad, I wanted to put my hands on his shoulder, sit with him and cry with him as he tells her story.

To be honest, it would be an honor to sit with all of these newly bereaved dads (and moms) during the darkest days of their lives.  We all know the road they have before them as they try to support their families while also trying to deal with their own emotions and pain.

I can’t help but also think about the father of the shooter who also lost a child.  He too is grieving the loss of his son while dealing with the weight of knowing his son was responsible for inflicting all of this pain.

We all know that the lives of these people will never be the same, that their lives have been changed forever.  All innocence has been lost.  The road to survival will be long and dark.

I ask that you join me in sending prayers to the people of Newtown and to the families of the children lost.

Wishing you all peace.

Kelly Farley

Leave a Reply

User Comments ( 15 )

  • Andrew Morgan

    Beautiful words.

  • Tim Hayes

    I have started and stopped a comment to this post so many times. The emotions this has stirred have been pretty overwhelming. The never-ending news coverage is too much for me to handle. After about two minutes, I am done. I have felt an odd numbness – similar to what I experienced when my son was in uncontrollable pain due to so many complications following high-dose chemo. In order to stay present physically, I had to set my emotions aside and get “clinical.” The thought of so many families walking through this horrific event is so great. I am also upset by the newscasters speaking as if they have any clue. Robbie Parker’s willingness to share his heart is powerful, but to say his faith keeps him from being angry reflects their lack of real understanding. I remember speaking about a lack of anger in the days and weeks after my son’s death. Then, four months later, I finally got pissed. I had no one I could really blame. Cancer sucks, and it took my son from us. Yet, I still got angry – at God – the only One I could try to blame.

    In time, each of the families devastated by this tragedy will most likely get angry. My prayer is that they understand that there are others who have walked the journey.

    Thanks, Kelly, for giving us a venue to share.

    • Tim Hayes

      I realized that I only posted half of my thoughts… In no way do I mean to infer that Robbie’s faith has not played a major part in his ability to face the death of his daughter. My own faith has been the only consistent thing helping me to walk this journey. From my own experience, I believe God gives us the grace we need to make the difficult decisions in the days and weeks after a child’s death. Some may say a parent is in shock, which may very well be the case.

      I believe that anger WILL come. In my opinion it MUST come and be dealt with properly if one is to heal. My prayer is that Robbie and the many other dads who lost children in Newtown will know they are not alone – possibly by finding this very place where dads realize that every day.

      • Grieving Dads


        Anger comes and goes and comes back and then goes away again. I would say every emotion goes through this cycle. Some at the same time as others and other independently. My anger went to rage and I often welcomed someone, anyone to do something to trigger my unleashing. Although my anger, sadness, anxiety, depression, despair, etc has since left me, there are still times were I could still unleash if pushed far enough. I don’t take peoples shit anyone (never really did, but even more so now). If they are out of line (at least in my view :)) I let them know, quickly. I have learned to be matter of fact, some would say blunt. I would say honest. It changes who we are and how we act.

        I agree with you, it ALL must come and we must allow it. It has to run it course…..however long it takes. We have to let out minds and bodies to process it, all of it.

        Thanks for your comment.



  • Jonathan Pascual

    Kelly, we stand with you as you reach out to these families in only the special way that you are capable. Thank you for being a voice.

  • Steve Christen

    Prayers to all those who are left to suffer well as they together, “walk through the valley of the shadow of death.”

    • Grieving Dads


      Short story, I would get up every morning to go to work and hurry to shower and get dressed. Full of anxiety, pain and depression I would go into a spare bedroom, kneel and read that bible versus. I kept the bible opened to that page. It gave me great great comfort and allowed me to stay as calm as possible in order for me to be able to at least function for the day. I would generally start crying as soon as I started reading it. We have all walked through the valley of death and non of us want to stay there, but at times its hard to see that hope. But I found that I just kept going, this versus gave me the hope that I would find a glimmer at some point. I indeed eventually found it, but man its the darkest place one should never have to travel.

      Wishing you peace.


      • Kirk

        Kelly, I think I may try that. Both my Wife and I feel like an empty shell with no purpose. Im sure everyone feels this way at some point.

  • Kelly:
    As a Police Detective and bereaved father, I know the anguish of both parent and first responder. My surviving children are no older than these babies! I have looked at the photos of the children and thought “My God, she is the same age as my daughter.” I do believe, as you do, we must persevere and sing the songs about our children – tell their stories – because it is about us all.


    • Grieving Dads


      I cannot imagine how difficult your job is when you are called into these situations. I am sure it triggers a lot of pain because you know the impact it has on the familes that are left behind to deal with the aftermath. You have/are living it every day. You have the opportunity to provide these families with the love and compassion they need from day one. You know the shock/trauma they have been dealt.

      Watching the news over the last week, you can see the pain inflicted on the community. We all know when teh dusk settles and the news crews pull out of town and the politcal posturing starts to settle, these parents will be left standing there in their pain. Hopefully they can continue to find the support they are going to need.



      • Kelly,

        Last week, my partner was assigned to investigate a suspicious death. It was an overdose – a 19 year-old girl. Very sad. It was said to me, “You have no idea the pain we’re facing because you’re a cop.” I sat the parents down and told them of my son’s death. I warned them of the pitfalls they will face – the well wishers who will say something stupid such as “She’s in a better place” “It’s God’s plan”. I told them just as you stated they will be left with the pain after the funeral and they will suffer through it alone – individually and together as a couple. I told them not to give into the guilt, not to let the well meant, but ill-said, remarks race around their hearts. I warned them of the ghouls – those that want insert themselves into their grief and make themselves out to be “heroes.” I asked them to find counseling when the affairs of the funeral are done, stay away from alcohol, use only the dosage prescribed it a doctor orders anti-anxiety or anti-depressants, and most of all eat and sleep. My partner told me he admires the strength I have – what he doesn’t know is that its held together by baling wire and glue. It’s a fragile strength that I had to piece together with the help of many.

        • Tim Hayes

          Martin – I love the description of your strength… “held together by bailing wire and glue.” So often it feels like a good, stiff wind will blow it to pieces. Your advice to these parents is excellent. I pray they can remember it when the fog begins to lift.

  • Kirk

    Having just lost our daughter a month ago, I truly feel their pain. My 8 year old if she were here would have felt terrible for those families. I too wish I could cry with those parents who now are in this group that no one wants to be in. When I heard the news I prayed to God for the kids and their parents, I also prayed that my Ashlyn be there for those kids. We all miss and love our kids who left us way too soon.

    • Grieving Dads


      I am so sorry for the loss of your daughter Ashlyn. As you are currently experiencing, the death of a child is the most profound pain that one can endure. It’s a pain that cannot be put into words. I have tried to explain if, but as you know, you have to live it to know it. I wish no one would ever have to feel it.

      Thank you for sharing Kirk.



  • Beautifully said, Kelly. Thank you ♥