“Stories circulate among the 26 of those who, in stabs at empathy, have said entirely the wrong thing: ‘Move on,’ or ‘This too shall pass,’ or ‘Will you hug me for me?’ The rest of the town, even those very close to the grieving, find themselves on eggshells, constantly worried they’ll misspeak, or misstep. Nelba Márquez-Greene can feel how much other people in town want her to be better. ‘We are the face of every parent’s nightmare,’ she says. But nothing makes her feel better. ‘I feel terrible, and I’m giving myself permission to say I feel terrible.’ She is a tiny, neat person, with a dispassionate way of talking, and is working for Sandy Hook Promise now, busily giving keynote speeches and a TED talk, but the idea that her work life might console her, or ease her pain, is laughable. It’s as if, she tells me evenly, you needed a liver transplant and someone came up and gave you a heart.”

Lisa Miller, New York magazine, on the grieving families in Newtown, 11 months later—and the complications that have arisen from the money and sympathy that poured in from around the world.


Photo: billmorrow, Flickr

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