You keep reliving being told to wait in a room with other parents and are told that children are being held in another room. You try to comfort each other but you only want your name called. You pray. You want to leave that room. One by one other parents are called and they leave to be reunited. You pray the next name will be yours. The numbers get smaller, the room quieter. There is a delay. You pray harder.
A few people enter the room. Their faces aren't the same as before. "Say my name", you think to yourself, "please say my name". Your heart is beating so hard as the room goes silent. Someone walks closer, their eyes scanning the room but never making eye contact. Their voice crackles as they finally say out out
loud, "We're sorry, there will be no more reunions. There are no more children coming out of the school". The wails are gut-wrenching, so drawn out, a sound you never heard before. Some collapse to the floor while others hold the person next to them. It is a blur from that point.
Somehow you managed to fall asleep last night. You saw your child playing. You heard your child laugh. You were together again. And then you woke and for a fraction of a second you thought it was just a nightmare. The worse one you ever had. But then you knew it had really happened and the pain returned. This is a pain that will continue to grow and deepen in you as the days continue.
People try to comfort you, they try to help you. But nothing really helps at this point. They say you'll get through this, that the pain will ease. That's impossible you think. You don't see how that will ever happen. You'll find out later that millions of people are hurting from this and are praying for your family. People from around the world can only imagine your pain and they grieve with you. Other parents are frightened just thinking it could have been their child and they ache. But your pain is far worse. Your nightmare is real.
For other parents reading this, hug your children tighter. Tell them they are loved.
Tell them there are bad people in the world but they are safe, you will protect them.
Don't scold them today. Spend time with them today. Love them today. Love them