Orders of Grief: Newtown, 11 Months Later

The tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary brought an outpouring of sympathy and money from around the world—and along with it, a new set of complications for the grieving families:

The biggest fund by far was the one set up by 9 p.m. the day of the attack, under the auspices of the United Way of Western Connecticut. By April, it held $11 million, and local psychiatrist Chuck Herrick was named president of the board of the fund, a position that has made him one of the most unpopular men in town. It was Herrick, along with a handful of others, who had to help calculate the disbursements to the parents of murdered children, and who had to defend those calculations when the bereaved accused the United Way of being unfair, insensitive, condescending, elitist, paternalistic and, in a mantra recited by the grieving, of “raising money on the backs of our dead.”

Published: Nov 3, 2013
Length: 26 minutes (6,599 words)
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