Sharing the Grief — Connected in Tragedy

My heart breaks and bleeds for the families and friends of the victims of today's elementary school shooting. This is not a political post, even though I certainly have a strong opinion on the topic. This is instead recognition of how social networking is enabling a nation and the world to share prayers and thoughts and news, and ultimately, mourn this tragedy together, regardless of where we're located.

We've seen the power of social networking in the face of natural disasters where traditional communication failed: the March 2011 tsunami in Japan, and more recently Hurricane Sandy on the U.S. Eastern Seaboard.

I've been watching Twitter and Facebook today and feel connected in my grief for the innocent lives lost, and all of the people whose lives have changed forever. 
I've also seen this mindful and helpful quotation today on Facebook:

"When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, 'Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.' To this day, especially in times of 'disaster,' I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers - so many caring people in this world." ~ Mister Rogers

To those in Connecticut whose worlds changed forever today, please know that while we can't feel your pain, we are feeling pain and anger and sorrow that you've lost someone you love in such a brutal and senseless manner  — something no parent, grandparent, sibling, spouse, significant other, aunt, uncle, cousin, friend, neighbor or coworker should ever have to do.

The Huffington Post has some suggestions about what the rest of us can do to help: Connecticut Elementary School Shooting: How To Help.

And hug someone you love.

Update: Honoring those lost by sharing their names:
Charlotte Bacon, Daniel Barden, Olivia Engel, Josephine Gay, Ana M. Marquez-Greene, Dylan Hockley, Madeleine F. Hsu, Catherine V. Hubbard, Chase Kowalski, Jesse Lewis, James Mattioli, Grace McDonnell, Emilie Parker, Jack Pinto, Noah Pozner, Caroline Previdi, Jessica Rekos, Avielle Richman, Benjamin Wheeler, Allison N. Wyatt, Rachel Davino, Dawn Hochsprung, Anne Marie Murphy, Lauren Rosseau, Mary Sherlach, and Victoria Soto

Image courtesy of Darren Robertson / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.