Dealing With The Pain of the School Tragedy

school tragedyToday I am deeply saddened by the events that unfolded at the elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut. A school tragedy affects us all. I am a mother, a grandmother, a former classroom teacher of twenty years, and a human being. To think that I would not be deeply affected by this tragedy is to not know or understand me at all. No one will ever be the same after knowing what happened on that fateful day just ten days before Christmas.

All of my years of teaching were spent in the inner city of Los Angeles. During that time the four schools I taught at were placed on lockdown more than fifty times. Lockdown is the term that is used when there is violent and criminal activity at or near your school and the police department and other government agencies alert the school to the danger.

During the lockdown no one is allowed to enter or leave the campus except for the police, SWAT team members, and other officials and law enforcement agents. Those already at the school may not leave the room or building they are in, and anyone outside in an open area must run to the closest building before the doors are locked. While inside of the classroom the teachers close the windows, pull the shades, turn off the lights, and sit on the floor with their students until it is over. The longest lockdown I was ever a part of happened in February of 2007 less than a mile from my school. This lasted for more than three hours, and during that time my class and I forged a bond that will never break. More than 300 law enforcement officers were involved, and the gunmen fired approximately 1,100 rounds of ammunition. You may read about this incident here.

When I heard the accounts of what the teachers had done during this incident in Connecticut all of the memories came flooding back to me. It was no surprise to hear how the teachers had taken their children into tiny bathrooms, into dimly lit areas, and other safe areas to shield them from harm. As a teacher, you become a part of a child’s life and they are like one of your own children for as long as you know them. You find yourself standing up for them when they are ridiculed, and cheering for them when they are acknowledged. You act as adult role model, impartial listener, and a stable force in their lives, and also as someone who will guide them through their lessons during the year they are in your class. Over the years I protected students from abusive family members, bullies, gangs, and random attacks of violence. The relationship is like no other as you get to know them in a more personal way over the time they are in your life.

Over the years I lost several students. One died from leukemia just days before his eleventh birthday. Another was killed in a tragic car accident. Two were gunned down by gang members in front of parents, siblings, and friends. Their names and faces are etched in my memory forever, yet I do not speak of them often, even with family or close friends. It just hurts too much, although a number of years have passed. Loving, and then losing, a child can bring you to your knees.

The last week of school before the holiday break is supposed to be filled with hope, joy, dreams, and excitement. It is a time when everyone can let their hair down for a few days and focus on the reason for the season instead of reading, writing, and arithmetic. My students were from immigrant families and sometimes in the United States for the very first year, so this was a time for them to experience the holidays in a joyous way while learning new customs and traditions.

My thoughts and prayers will be with this entire town during this holiday season. I have close friends in Westport, Connecticut, a town just twenty miles south of Newtown. They have four children, all of whom are in elementary school. They are still too shocked and numb to speak to anyone outside of their immediate family about what has happened, so close to their own community.

This incident angers me on a level I am at a loss to explain. It makes me want to do something to help, but it is too soon for me to begin because my heart is aching so much with the pain and the sorrow of what has happened. I believe that the best way to combat evil in the world is with love, kindness, and hope. Please join me in sending positive thoughts, white light, and love to all of the people in Newtown, and to children around the world.

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69 Responses to Dealing With The Pain of the School Tragedy

  1. Barbara Winter says:

    This is one of the most eloquent responses I’ve read about the sad events of yesterday. Thank you so much for sharing your story.

  2. Jo Casey says:

    Connie this is a beautiful, brave & heartfelt post. I’m sorry you’ve had nasty comments from people consumed by grief that they’re blinded to the fact that we all deal with grief & shock differently. Some of us have poured out our grief, others of us felt there were no words could express the horror, pain & disbelief of what happened in Connecticut. However we deal with it doesn’t diminish our humanity or our shock. Thank you for sharing your story in such an honest way. My thoughts and love, as i’m sure do yours, go out to all of the families, teachers & neighbours in Connecticut xx

    • Connie Ragen Green says:

      Jo,
      Thank you for your thoughtful comment. I’ve connected with some teacher friends and a former student to help us all begin the healing process.
      Connie

  3. Nickolove Lovemore says:

    I think this latest tragedy has left many feeling numb and, at times like this, it can difficult to express what one is feeling so thank you for sharing this.

  4. Loretta says:

    I agree …. the things we need right now are love, kindness, and hope. Too often people try to explain away the pain of events such as these, but sometimes what we really need is to just take care of each other.

  5. Connie- thank you so much for sharing your insight. Your spirit and tender heart shines through in every word which is no surprise. The depth of your compassion comes from heartfelt knowledge of what everyone there experienced. These are life changing events. Your life of service is evidence that how our lives change in response is up to us. I so agree – shed light in the world – bring our own kindness. Focus on what we can do. Your story continues to inspire and amaze. All the best to you and your family this holiday season.

  6. Debbie O'Grady says:

    Connie,
    I don’t have the words and I thank you for writing yours so I can share.

  7. Geoff says:

    I had just written and posted my own thoughts when I saw the link to this on Facebook. I have never personally been close to this kind of violence, so it has not touched me in the way it touches you. I feel deeply for your anger and your pain and for the personal connections you have to these events.

    Hearing that may not help, but I do know you are a human being completely filled with and wrapped in love. It is that love that has you feel this pain. It is also that love that will propel you to continue making the huge difference you make in the lives of so many, many people.

    The children in your family, with whom you share such love, are so lucky to have you in their lives.

    I am, too.

  8. Sylvia says:

    Dear Connie,
    The pain for so many of us, is so deep. Your words touched me at a place where I could not find my words, only sorrow. Thank you for your eloquent, heart felt words and for sharing your story. You are my inspiration on so many levels! My prayers are with you and all who are suffering through this tragedy, each of us in our own way.
    Sincerely,
    Sylvia

  9. Thanks for telling us what you experienced when you were a teacher. You still are the kind of teacher who cares deeply about your mentorees, those you teach, now.

    What happened in Newtown is unfathomable. What happens to children in times of war and genocide is equally incomprehensible, but those instances are carefully kept under rap.

    It is time to stand for children, everywhere.

    • Connie Ragen Green says:

      Kate,
      Yes, you have put your finger on it. We must take a stand for the children of the world, as they do not have a voice in much of what happens in their daily lives.
      Connie

  10. Marina Nani says:

    Dear Connie,

    Reflecting on sad events is always a chance to learn how to deal with our emotions and cross our limitations.
    You are a very special, gifted woman; very few people are capable of sharing their knowledge and wisdom with others.
    Being successful is not a sin, is a virtue, takes lots of talent and dedication. Knowing you is an honour and I wish I could be with you right now to give you a hug.
    You are wonderful, Connie!

    • Connie Ragen Green says:

      Marina,
      Having just spent time with you in London last week, I still feel your love and kindness as you hugged me then. Thanks so very much for taking the time to leave your comment here.
      Connie

  11. Jude says:

    Connie,

    You have put into words what I am sure many of us are feeling and unable to put into words ourself. I am close to Columbine and my children, although not in that particular school but close to it, were on lockdown during that tragic event and the uncertainity a parent faces leaves a permanent mark in your heart. Then again right close to me the tragedy unfolded at the movie theater. No one, no location is immune to this violence. My heart aches for everyone who was there, for those innocent children who listened so quietly as the gunshots exploded, huddled together in darkness, wondering if they were to become a victim…the teachers and staff huddled with them offering comforting words, reassurance and love, keeping them calm, all the while praying for the ordeal to end and everyone be safe. There are no words to describe the gratitude a parent feels for the brave teachers and staff, SWAT, police officials, medical staff and other early responders as they hurried to end the tragic ordeal and save the children and staff. If there is anyone who is not moved…who is not touched by this tragedy then there would be a person without a beating heart. I agree give the love and kindness…share it freely in an effort to make a difference in someone’s life. My thoughts and prayers are with all those so deeply affected.

  12. Cindy Cook says:

    Connie, people who think that you have to post every feeling you ever have onto Facebook or in an email have lost sight of the concepts of private and personal thoughts and feelings. Just because you didn’t post your thoughts and feelings doesn’t mean you don’t have them. And you are under no obligation to share them just because someone has a judgment about your not having done so.

    You might have had sex with your husband this morning and have feelings about that, too, but you don’t post it on Facebook or put it in an email. It’s too personal and private. Same can apply to the tragedy, so for the life of me, why do people have to jump to the wrong conclusions? Sheesh!

  13. Judy Adler says:

    Connie – you are obviously a caring and compassionate person. Those people who criticized you for not mentioning this school tragedy were unkind. It was not necessary for you to send out an email explaining yourself. The media and everyone else is milking this tragedy for ratings, for other self-serving purposes. Meanwhile there are thousands of precious innocent children in countries all over the world dying every day by bullets, famine and diseases — all deaths that are preventable — and the media isn’t paying attention.

  14. Thank you for your inspired words, Connie. They bring relief to me as I could not begin to formulate in words the deep grief I feel about this horrendous situation. My heart, prayers and good wishes go out to you as well as the families whose lives have been shattered by this most recent mass murder.

    Your deep feelings are to be admired and honored by all.

    Blessings to you.

  15. monique says:

    Thanks for sharing. That’s the best I can do or say right now (except hug my girls a little tighter): Thanks.

  16. Carl says:

    Thank you Connie for sharing your experiences with us. I’m so sorry you had to go through those things. It is such a vexing problem: how we can protect those who can’t protect themselves. I’m wondering why we don’t have built in to every classroom an underground cellar that has a bulletproof door so when they hear gunshots, they can all go in and lock the shooter out?

  17. Catherine Sternberg says:

    Connie.
    Who you are for us is love and compassion.
    To have you share so intimately and openly
    About your committment to children as a
    Teacher in inner schools, what you experienced
    And how you were a contribution just endears us
    To you even more.

  18. Ellen Schultz says:

    Connie,
    I was extremely moved by your post today. Your posting is certainly a demonstration of how deeply affected you were and still are by the events yesterday and in the past. But as I said in my email to you, I find it amazing that someone would have the audacity to challenge you regarding your feelings.
    As I said before, have we gotten to the point where we are required to post all of our personal feelings online and on FB? Do we not have any rights to privacy should we decide to engage on FB or any of the other social media sites? Is that what it’s come to?
    I would also like to ask anyone who accused you of thinking only of making money did she/he contact the many companies that continued their commercials yesterday during the day while the events unfolded? Did they contact QVC, HSN, Shop NBC to ask them why they continued to sell their products while people were being killed in CT?
    I accept that you felt it necessary to tell us how you feel and what you’ve gone through in the past, but to be honest, it’s not my business. I’m grateful that you chose to share with us. I wish those mean busybodies would learn that it’s not their business either.

  19. Dear Connie, When I heard of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, I was so shocked I was speechless. My pain was so deep, instant anger numbed it out. Anyone who would say to a person that that person didn’t care about this tragedy because that person didn’t express their agony in words may be himself or herself without compassionate feelings for all of us I would guess. Thank you for finding your voice in this expression of grief, pain and compassion.
    - Kindness, Collins (Doc Meek), docmeek.com

  20. Jenell says:

    Thank you Connie for the post. Although I don’t feel that you have to prove your feelings to anyone I do thank you for sharing. I too don’t have the words and my mind can’t comprehend all that has happened. Its just so unfair for those innocent lives to be lost. All I can do is pray right now. God bless you and every reader and every family that this tragedy has touched. Love and peace and comfort to all.

  21. Mary Simpson says:

    Very eloquently said. I live in Connecticut, on the opposite side of the state from the insanity. It feels to many–perhaps to most–Connecticut residents, regardless of where they live, as though it happened right next door. It is all you hear about when you turn on the TV or radio. It fills conversations at work. It is incomprehensible. You feel anger, dismay, a sense of disbelief that such a tradgey could ever have happened, that anyone could have so much hatred or whatever caused the acts that they would randomly take the lives of innocent people–especially those of such young children.

    Failure to post responses does not mean failure to feel the pain and sadness and tremendous sense of loss that comes with the destruction of so many who were just beginning their lives as well as those who have already contributed much but yet had much left to contribute.

    Perhaps the very best response that we can make is to determine to each contribute our very best to help return America to the values and beliefs that made her great in the first place. Yes, we are free–that is an incredible blessing. But we must remember that one person’s liberty ceases when it encroaches upon that of another. With each of us continuing to do our part, we can help turn things around and return America to being a shining star, the best of the best.

    As the headlines in the front page article of the Hartford Courant read today: “Our hearts are broken.” Let us each do our part to help restore healing of those who suffered losses or feel those losses–whoever and wherever they might be–and of our great country. I join with the millions of Americans whose heart-felt prayer is God bless America!

  22. Connie, I’m a quiet subscriber, and honestly I probably miss more of your emails than I open, but this one tonight I am grateful to have read. I am grateful to have come here and read your response to not only what happened here in CT but also to the way some subscribers/fans judged your choice to not mention it right away.

    Your story brought me to tears, I think the first tears I’ve actually been able to shed over this awful tragedy. I am not a regular consumer of news, so I miss a lot of the things that go on, but from the looks of what I’m reading, the media is really making quite a spectacle about it. And yes, it sucks, but for crying out loud, let these poor traumatized people heal in peace!!

    It’s sad that just here within our own country there exists worlds apart, whole communities and regions that for the most part know no other way of life than whatever their lifestyle is-be it poverty in gangland or poverty in the rural back hills, or the wealthiest of the gated communities and places like I don’t know, Newport RI. Neither has a clue what actually goes on outside of their local bubble. Obviously it’s not everyone, but it’s enough to be pretty darned noticeable by someone who’s traveled at all or just pays attention.

    I am sorry for your painful memories, but I am not sorry that you were brave enough to go where the kids needed you the most…if there’s anywhere that needs all of our help it’s inner city schools. I have always gotten the sense that your heart is enormous and that your capacity for love knows no bounds. It irks me that people would respond so harshly to your not saying anything- Readers, be nice!!

    Don’t ever worry about justifying your choices to me, miss Connie :) I’ll keep reading when I actually see your emails, even if I’m not ready to buy anything yet. It’s always fun to see what you’re offering next.

  23. Shelley Amdur says:

    Connie, I appreciate your heartfelt words and experience. I also have worked in inner city schools, in Chicago. The level of violence that goes on every day… the matter-of-factness of children who know it is likely they will die in a drive-by shooting because 5-6 of their cousins have already done so…. is a crime against humanity that most Americans are complacently unaware of.
    I pray that the sacrifice of these little ones in Newtown, Connecticut, will cause enough shame and grief in our country that gun policies which are long overdue can be enacted. I also pray that mental health programs be reinstated for the many deeply disturbed individuals that fill our homeless shelters.

  24. Pat says:

    Connie, I’m shocked that some people would think you were not affected by the violence. Your emails are full of information about how you are volunteering your time to working with and for children. You could not have had the career you’ve had and continue to do the work you do without a great love for our children.
    Thank you for expressing so well and publically the deep core hurt of our society.

  25. What an unkind and judgemental statement for someone to make. I hope your fingers found the “unfriend” button.

    Love,
    Jeanne

    • Connie Ragen Green says:

      Thanks for making me laugh, Jeanne. Yes, he and I are no longer friends on Facebook, and the person who sent the unkind email has been unsubscribed from my list.
      Connie

  26. Donna says:

    Anyone who supports Rotary and gives as much as you do you cares . there is an old saying that for those who understand no explanation is necessary for those that don’t understand no explanation would ever suffice. I realized the cruel words hurt, but you know what’s in your heart .

  27. Andrew says:

    Connie

    Take no notice of these random snipings & emails.
    In my view, anyone who is, or has been, a teacher (like you!) cares about people. My wife lives for the special-needs students she looks after in a local school where she works. She is often a voice and hands for those who have impairments. Her colleagues who work with better enabled students are there often to carry burdens for them which as youngsters they cannot cope with
    Shame on anyone who criticises teachers for not caring – teachers are born to care. They may not always get it right over education but they always care!

    I guess it is fashionable to knock people in the public eye – they are easy targets As Shylock said in Shakespeare’ s Merchant of Venice “If you prick us, do we not bleed?” SO Ignore the ignorant I say!

    Take care and thanks for what you do to earn your living by helping the hopeful

    Andrew J Titcombe

    P S Glad you enjoyed my home town of London! Great place – wil be back there for a few days at Christmas

  28. Bruce Arnold says:

    Hi Connie,

    I just had to write a quick response to
    your email. I haven’t yet read the post
    you wrote, but don’t need any more proof
    that you care. The work as a teacher you’ve
    done and the charity work along with the
    extraordinary caring you show for your
    customers and subscribers speak volumes.

    People are very raw and emotional since yesterday.
    Facebook is full of people getting into arguments
    and shouting matches. Horrible events like this
    sometimes brings out the worst in people.

    Giving you grief is just wrong. Anybody paying
    attention knows better than to ever mention that you
    don’t care. I hope you don’t let it get to you too much.
    To me, by trying to hurt you, it’s people like them who
    don’t care

    Thanks for being who you are. I’m going to read your
    post now. Have a great weekend… you deserve it.

    Best wishes,
    Bruce Arnold

  29. Nancy says:

    Oh Connie, people can be so—single-minded. Anyone who knows you knows you love children. There is far too much hype by the news media about this and the real problem – the wrong kinds of guns are available to the wrong kinds of people – isn’t being addressed.
    THAT doesn’t get news coverage nor make money for the radio/TV stations.

    How could anyone NOT CARE except those who are deranged enough to plan and
    execute this sort of thing.

    Blessings to you.

    Nancy

  30. Connie, whoever wrote those comments about you not caring really don’t know you. You are such a giving and compassionate human being. Everyone deals with grief and tragedy differently. As a mother, there is no way that you were not affected. On 9/11, my son was in school in DC and I worked in Maryland. I was terrified. His father was able to bring him home safely. I can’t imagine the grief that those parents feel. Connie, please remember that you have a ton of people that are in your corner. Please don’t change for anyone.

  31. Linda says:

    Connie,
    Like you, I am numb with pain about the event. As a mother, grandmother, and a member of the human race I feel the pain and grief. We are all connected, we all feel it. May we all be healed, especially those so close.

  32. Cheryl Major says:

    You would hope that such a horrific event would bring out the best in people. Sadly, as evidenced by your experiences with these two people, it doesn’t. They were just mean! So uncalled for. I truly don’t understand why it would be your responsibility to comment publicly (although you did so with grace and class; your post is heartfelt and movingly personal). As any of us who has experienced personal tragedy knows, the world does not stop while we grieve. To accuse you of not caring is ridiculous. Your level of involvement with the people even peripherally in your life is a tribute to you. The meanness you experienced is, unfortunately, a comment on your success. Successful people become easy targets. I am so happy to be counted as one of your students, and there are so many of us whose lives you are affecting positively. Those people and what they said? Let it go…they are not important.

  33. William
    Twitter:
    says:

    Thank you Connie: We all are effected by such a tragedy. Nobody that knows you at all would ever doubt that you care deeply. Don’t let one persons cruel words hurt you any more. Those of us that have the privilege of knowing you, would never question that your loving, caring feeling would go out to all those in Newton.

  34. Ute Goldkuhle says:

    Being a rather reserved participant in social media communication, I was too shocked to read this morning that you, Connie, have received such unkind notices. Some individuals remain disconnected with human emotions, e.g., love, shock, anger, grief…. and lash out instead of realizing the essence of love, support and understanding we all need. We all cope in our own way. I too need to be silent for some time to process such horrors before I can find words to share.
    Connie, anyone who has been fortunate enough to have met you directly or virtually KNOWS who you are: an extraordinary person we all like to emulate and hang out with to be in your energy field. Your thoughts above is another testimony of you and your essence. Thank you for sharing with us so eloquently.

    Ute, joining everyone with silent tears.

  35. I would agree – a very eloquent and heart-felt commentary on the tragedy. I’ve never been close to violence and my students were older, but I’ve had a student die (a simple operation went bad – it was shocking and I wrote to her parents) and others experience very difficult times. Of course in college we don’t get as close to our students. I’m sure you would have been as heroic as these teachers if you’d been there.

    I believe we need to take some action: write to our state and federal legislators, urging them to spend less money on prisons and more on education and mental health. Every shooter in these cases (and sadly there are enough to see patterns) has a troubled background. It is surprisingly difficult to get mental health care even for simple cases; parents of troubled children often can’t get any support until a child is arrested.

  36. Connie,

    Thank you for sharing your perspective. Since you were a schoolteacher for 20 years, I can imagine that this is very emotional for you and brings back many painful memories. Thanks for sharing from your heart.

    As a father of two third graders, this is a difficult event for me to deal with. I’m praying for the families and friends of everyone affected by this tragedy.

    • Connie Ragen Green says:

      Steve,
      I know you are holding your girls closer today, and thinking about those who can no longer do the same because of this senseless tragedy. Thanks for your kind words.
      Connie

  37. Kit Rosato says:

    Connie,
    I am moved to tears again reading your beautiful, heartfelt response to the tragedy in Connecticut and am so saddened by the unkind words that were directed towards you. Good riddance to them I say! Know that you are appreciated and loved by many for your honesty and caring heart that shines through in every email and post you make.

    You inspire me!

  38. Marcia says:

    Connie, people can be so thoughtless and rude. It is certainly not necessary to air all of your thoughts and feelings on Facebook and in your emails to your followers. Most of the country doesn’t know what to say about the Connecticut shootings, it’s so shocking. But that doesn’t mean we should all stop doing business or make public statements.

    There are so many who know your good heart. And we’re not influenced by the crazies who make those unkind comments about you. Rest assured your giving reputation speaks for you.

    Marcia

  39. Lisa says:

    Connie,

    First off, I’d like to say that your blog post
    was beautifully written. I, too, was a classroom
    teacher (17 years) and the event had me realizing
    the trauma to every single person in that school
    system.

    May I also share my thoughts about your email?

    First off, I can’t believe someone would be so
    cruel as to insinuate that you didn’t care about
    what happened because you didn’t post on FB
    about it. This is entirely unreasonable and really
    shocking to me.

    I would think that there are numerous kind-hearted,
    deeply compassionate folks world-wide who care
    deeply who didn’t blog or FB about this unspeakable
    event. Parents in the school system, relatives, medical
    and first responders for example. And a lot of teachers
    who just don’t even know how to wrap their minds
    around such an atrocity.

    It’s interesting to me that working out your emotional
    response inside your own head and heart isn’t allowable
    anymore. Who came up with the idea that if you don’t
    blog about something, you don’t care about it?
    That seems so judgmental to me.

    Then there’s the person who says that because you
    didn’t mention it in an email, you’re just after money
    and don’t care about people.

    Gosh, Connie! I am so sorry that you had to go through
    that. These are people who probably don’t even need to
    be in your sphere as they so deeply misunderstand you.
    If they don’t know you any better than that, then they
    should, quite frankly, unsubscribe. You don’t
    have to read more than a handful of emails or visit your
    blog to see that you’re a quality person, genuine and
    caring.

    I find it totally illogical and unwise to assume that someone
    doesn’t care just because they’re not posting their every
    thought about what’s going on in the news.

    Again, I wish you hadn’t had to deal with that kind of
    judgment. Just wanted to let you know that!

  40. Suzan says:

    I simply want to say I understand. The tragedy and pain is so horrific that I am easing myself into facing it. Some people feel things more deeply than others and every one is worthy of dealing with aspects of life in their own way and in their own time. I think it’s just one of those experiences in life where there is no one right way of dealing with it.

  41. Tom Welsh says:

    HI Connie,

    Well once again, through my interactions with you, I am learning something. Until I read the e-mail that directed me here, it would never have occurred to me that there are folks out there who “expect” some external expression of grief, etc., as a result of a public tragedy. Interesting.

    I cannot add to the eloquent expressions of support I have read above here. The ironic part is, anyone who knows even the slightest bit about your life and story would just KNOW how deeply you would be touched by what happened in Connecticut.

    Onward, and thanks for another life lesson, Connie!

    Tom

  42. Gail says:

    You are so special to so many!
    Just keeping doing what you do so well
    and the small minds will be elevated.

  43. Matt says:

    Connie,

    You do so much good and have so much heart that any person with reason who follows you only knows you as this. Try not to personalize it or feel that you need to justify anything to the naysayers. You are so right about people in the public eye. Just ask Justin Bieber. I hope you will sleep well tonight. We all know who you are for us.
    Matt

  44. Brandon says:

    Connie,
    I read this and just had to respond. I know sometimes things don’t translate so well
    through email and the internet, but for those of us who have met you, we know that you are
    such a kind and thoughtful person. I know that you give compassionately of your time, energy,
    and money, to so many great causes throughout the world. I think back on the presentation I
    saw you give in Las Vegas at Dennis Becker’s event and of all the speakers that weekend, I
    was the most touched by not only your presentation and your story, but by the fact that you
    truly care about people. That part of your personality and character really shines in person, and
    since meeting you and getting on your email lists, my perspective of who you are must be totally
    different from what the other people have responded with, as I’m sure if they really knew you
    or had even just met you for a brief moment in life as I did, that they would not be so judgmental
    of your response to this tragedy. I’m still in shock as I’m sure many people are from hearing of
    what transpired on Friday. Thank you, Connie, for being so awesome! In a world of fly-by-nighters
    and unscrupulous marketers, you are a beacon of integrity and I really appreciate that in how you
    run your business.

    Your friend always,
    Brandon

  45. Lynn says:

    My Dearest Connie,

    Knowing you and your background, I can only imagine how much these remarks must have cut you. Please know that the uncaring is with these unfortunate people who take this tragedy as an opportunity to spread unkindness instead of compassion.

    Know that your tribe is large and follows you because of your deep caring and love for all.

    Hugs,
    Lynn

  46. Billie says:

    Connie,
    People can be so cruel when their emotions are at there peak. Know that anyone who knows you knows that you care as deeply as any of us do. I understand that not saying anything is sometimes the only way to deal with things until the edge rubs off those emotions. I don’t know anyone who heard the news that read it with dry eyes. I am sending you a big hug, don’t let those who criticize and demean get to you. Those who matter know, and those who don’t know, don’t matter.
    Hugz, Love and Prayers,
    Billie

  47. Mary says:

    Very eloquent response filled with humanity.

    While it’s sad (but not surprising) people criticized you for your silence, know that they likely would have been just as critical had you mentioned it in an email – that you would be “exploiting” a tragedy for publicity, etc. etc.

    Glad to see you following your heart and sharing your feelings with others of us that care deeply, also.

    Best Regards,

    Mary

  48. Lisa Pepe says:

    Hi Connie-
    I’ve shed a few tears myself the past few days and whoever thought that you haven’t needs to tune in more. I can’t imagine the pain the people of Newtown are feeling. I am sad for all of the kids in schools all over the world who have heard about this tragedy and only hope they are not living in fear of this happening to them. My fiance’s kids and grandkids live 30 minutes from there and it really shook everyone up. Sending healing prayers to all and hoping their sorrow can be eased somehow.

    See you at NAMS,
    Lisa

    • Connie Ragen Green says:

      Thank you for writing, Lisa. Hopefully, some good will come from this in some small way in the future.
      Connie

  49. mary ellen johnson says:

    I am a school nurse not far from Newtown in CT. This tragedy rocked me to my core. I shook and cried every day on my way to work. The holidays were all together different. I was deeply in tune with what and how I do things affect others. At work and home. A reminder that even if we have little there are those that have lost or have less to start. This year, though we struggle more than many, we also less than some, so we re-gifted any gift cards to a local family in need. The genuine gratitude we received helped lift us up after this tragedy. The school nurse faced some critics as to her actions on that day. I feel for her and know she and I make a difference every day…..every single day.
    Mary Ellen Johnson, RN

    • Connie Ragen Green says:

      Thank you for your comment, Mary Ellen. Yes, you make a huge difference to the children and their families as a school nurse.
      Connie

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