There are no words that will wipe away the grief for the families in Newton, Connecticut right now. They are in the depths of a loss so great most of us cannot possibly imagine. And yet here I am, just one more person in a sea of people deep in prayer for moms and dads, grandparents, brothers and sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends of those who lost precious lives of children and staff in a most horrific way.

I’m not a religious person, but I have prayed for these families whose names I don’t know and whom I have never met. I know there is nothing that anyone can do to make things right, to bring back what is lost so I offer up only this totally feeble attempt at comfort – Thank you for your children.

There is no justice that would suffice taking every moment of loving them, nurturing them, watching them grow, and worrying about them. It is no one’s right to take that which you have made from not just your bodies, but your hearts and souls as well. I know it will not bring you comfort, that doesn’t exist is this moment right now, but hopefully one day you will find comfort in knowing that you gave the world these amazing human beings. In our children’s laughs we will hear yours. We will tuck them into bed at night along with our own. They have changed us. I have always felt that children are the mirror we hold up to the world. They show us who we are and who we can be. Your children have made us better parents and they have made us better human beings. How will we ever be able to forget the precious gift of life now?

I have spent the better part of my adolescence and adulthood dealing with the loss of parents, both mine and my husband’s and I spend way more time than I care to really admit thinking about all the many ways life can slip away so easily. But when I lost my first pregnancy the most horrible part to me was that nobody really knew I had lost anything at all. How can you lose what has barely begun to live? To the world I was not a mother and to the world nothing had changed for me. But that couldn’t have been farther from the truth. I knew in that moment that parenthood begins in the heart first. So I guess what I’m trying to say is that the world sees you and feels your agony. In some measure your children have become ours. We have never met, but we know what lives in a parent’s heart, we feel that unending ache and we wish beyond anything that we could replace it with something else, anything else. I’d like to think that maybe one day we can replace that ache with hope.

We tend to think that we can’t change the world. It is just too daunting to imagine for one human being. But that is precisely what your children did – they changed the world. They made us care for strangers as strongly as our own flesh and blood. Despite the darkness that threatened to crush us, they have given us back our humanity. So again I say with the most humility I can muster- Thank you for your children.