The Aftermath: Looking for the Answer Within

Written by contributor Arianna Carlson of For the Love of Motherhood

Today marks the one-month anniversary of the horrible shooting that happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.  My heart continues to break, not only for the families of the victims, but also for all the parents, children, teachers and staff at the school and in the community. I can still see their tiny little faces as I imagine the fear they had in their last moments on this earth.  I hope they didn’t suffer, felt the deep love their parents had for them, and left this earth peacefully.

I imagine my own son, crying for me, and my not being able to save him.  I can see the look on his face seconds before he witnesses such a tragedy.  I can’t help but wonder what could have been done differently to stop this from happening.

Is gun control, arming teachers, or having guards stand at the front door of our schools the real answer?

I sound like my mother when I start to say things like, “I remember a time…” but I am a mother now and I do remember those times, and I would do anything if my child could grow up in simpler days.


“However we treat the child, the child will treat the world.”   

– Pam Leo


I don’t blame Adam Lanza’s mother, although there seem to be things she could have done differently.  I guess, then, I am blaming her, but as a mother, I don’t know what I would, or could, have done in her shoes.

Are our children who they are, or what they learn?  Can we, as parents be held responsible for the choices our children make?  We make decisions each and every day of their lives, which we believe will steer them in the right direction.  We act as role models, sometimes flawed, but, for the most part, our intention is to do the best that we can.

Yet even when those purposeful, well-thought-out decisions are made, we still don’t know the outcome.  Our children’s personalities, the way they behave, and the choices they make, are ultimately their own.

Adam Lanza wasn’t a child who killed people; he was a young man killing children and adults.  Adam Lanza is responsible for what he did, but he took his own life, making our quest for justice impossible.  But the question of responsibility, something far more problematic than justice, remains.

What we do about this now, in the aftermath, today, and in the future, demonstrates how responsible we are.  Will we take on violence, gun control, video games, mental illness, bullying, and hate?  Are we any closer to taking responsibility for the world we have come to know?   I don’t know.  But I do know this; if we don’t, our children won’t.

I take responsibility for my own actions and words, and will try and make a difference.  I will continue to be a role model to my son, Braden.  I will teach him respect, love, compassion and empathy, not only for himself, but also for others, and for life.

My thoughts and prayers go out to the families, friends and community of Sandy Hook Elementary School. I don’t know how life goes on after something like this, but somehow, it just does.


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12 Responses to The Aftermath: Looking for the Answer Within

  1. Brooke January 14, 2013 at 5:00 am #

    Beautifully done for a complicated and sensitive matter. Thank you for sharing in the responsibility, making a difference in our world, and helping your son to choose community, too.

    • Arianna Carlson January 14, 2013 at 5:06 am #

      Thank you, Brooke. I don’t imagine I can the world, but I can make a difference. 🙂

      • Arianna Carlson January 14, 2013 at 7:37 pm #

        *correction: I don’t imagine I can change the world, but I can make a difference.

  2. Michelle K January 14, 2013 at 6:12 am #

    Thanks Arianna. Can’t believe that it’s already been a month since this tragedy. I was really shocked to hear about Sandy Hook Elementary, watching for updates on CNN every minute I got… but somehow I managed to get on with my life and a whole month passed by. Sad isn’t it? I too believe that something should be done. If nothing huge, something little everyday in our children’s lives.

    • Arianna Carlson January 14, 2013 at 3:15 pm #

      Michelle, Thank you! I bet for those who lost lives, time has stood still. This is a good reminder for all of us!

  3. kristen January 14, 2013 at 11:59 am #

    please look into the details of this day…there are many reports of a coverup, no actual kids at the scene, no emergency workers, etc.
    I’m not trying to take away from the sorrow of the day at all but it just seems pretty fishy that there were Facebook pages and fundraiser websites set up the day or two BEFORE the shooting?! And the rifle that apparently killed both classrooms full of kids was actually in the trunk of Adam Lanza’s car… please watch the whole thing so you can research for yourself.

    • Arianna Carlson January 14, 2013 at 3:10 pm #

      Kristen, I want to start my thanking you for taking the time to read my article. My article, isn’t, however, about the facts of that day. I certainly don’t pretend to know every detail, but what I do know is that innocent lives were lost. Period.

      FB scams, Internet scams, even the YouTube clip you provide will no doubtably show up in the after-math of such a tragedy. I’m not here to profit from a loss. I am simply sharing my feelings.

      p.s. please check out this link; in particular the last point about google search results showing up with inaccurate dates :

      Thanks for sharing.

      • Arianna Carlson January 15, 2013 at 2:52 am #

        *correction: I want to start by thanking you… 🙂

  4. kristen January 16, 2013 at 10:36 pm #

    Arianna, I appreciate your reply and I meant no disrespect. I just was utterly shocked at the video I saw and while I understand that it may or may not be even partially true, I wouldn’t be surprised if the issues surrounding gun control laws had something to do with it all, even if not with the actual shooting then with the media’s coverage of it. I too am saddened by any loss of innocent life but at times I feel betrayed and manipulated by the media and the government– there are millions of untold stories of pain and suffering yet we seem to only hear of certain ones. I did not mean any hostility in posting that video- I had just shared it by email with a few friends who were honestly struggling with a bit of depression and paranoia…it is not hard to be overwhelmed by the media’s bombardment of certain events and at times I admit I have been obsessed with the ones that pulled at my heartstrings the most. But from personal experience, dwelling on events like this often create even more heartache than the horrible acts that have already taken place…and I don’t want to be THAT to the world. I want to teach my kids the act of compassion as well as the act of letting go and rebuilding.
    I thought your article was well written and well thought out– So please don’t think I posted in response to your specific points…I was more responding to so many people on Facebook that were becoming obsessed with whatever new storyline the media presented.

    • Arianna Carlson January 18, 2013 at 7:27 am #

      Thank you, Kristen. I hope you come back and enjoy my future articles.

  5. Hyerim Kwon (Haru) February 1, 2013 at 7:03 am #

    If you make a difference, the world will change.


  6. Arianna Carlson February 11, 2013 at 4:41 am #

    Hyerim, I sure hope so!!! Let’s keep doing our part. Thank you.

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