One Year Later, Newtown Families Reflect On An Emotional Marathon

A year ago, Mark Barden hadn't really thought about his views on gun violence. Alissa Parker did not yet know she was a writer. Nicole Hockley spent her days as a stay-at-home mom in Newtown, the suburban Connecticut town she'd recently moved to after nearly two decades in her husband's native England.
It has been both an eternity and a moment since the Bardens, Parkers and Hockleys lost people they loved in the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown. A year in which everything has changed, but not nearly enough.

The day the families refer to as 12/14 was one filled with both intimate moments of raw hopelessness, outside of the public eye, and also public spasms of grief, as the whole world seemed to mourn together. Parents who wondered how their own lives could possibly go on; strangers who vowed that the tragedy would turn the tide, upend the politics, rewrite the laws governing our gun policy. This time would be the last time. This one could not be ignored.

Today, lives have gone on. Laws and public opinion have changed. The families have been transformed; the rest of us are likely surprised at how quickly our stunned shock has dimmed.

In the months since Sandy Hook, there have been shootings at 27 more schools.

"It was a year of survival, of getting through it," says Alissa Parker, whose 6-year-old daughter, Emilie, was among the 20 children and six adults who were killed. "That was the only goal, to deal with the new reality of my life."


Source: Huffington Post | Lisa Belkin
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