I can’t get the thought out of my head.  28 dead. 20 of which are children. Their pictures are everywhere- TV, newspapers, Twitter, Facebook. Their sweet, smiling, innocent faces gleam on the screen. Pictures from their last birthday, mall photos with Santa Claus… it is all too much.

I tried to avoid the developing news on Friday by taking a lunchtime gym break. Some escape from the constant status updates and tweets would do me some good, I thought. But no Real Housewives or People’s Court could distract me from President Obama’s speech airing on all the large screens at the gym. Everyone around me stopped what they were doing and we all stood silently, watching the screens. As tears welled up in my eyes, I realized that I wasn’t alone in grieving for these victims I had never met. Beside me, five other strangers stood listening to the news, shaking their heads in the same disgust and sadness.

As more details about the children and their families are released, I feel myself wanting to turn away as if to shelter myself from more sadness. But I can’t. I want to recognize that these young victims were real children, just like we all once were. Whether they loved football or were top of their class, I want to remember these children for who they were individually, not as the victims of this horrific tragedy.

I try to keep things light on here so apologies for getting a bit emotional today. It is too big of an issue not to address and has been weighing heavy on my heart. My thoughts go out to all of those affected by the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School. May we all find peace during this holiday season.