I Don’t Want to Know His Name

This morning I woke up early. I drank coffee. Reviewed my kids homework – may have even circled some spelling errors for them to fix.

Around 6:45am California Time I woke up my kids, asked them to get dressed and made breakfast. Just 15 minutes early 3000 miles away gun shots were heard in an elementary school.

At 7:45am CA time I drove my daughter to school. I criticized her for forgetting her guitar. She left my van annoyed with me although we both still said “love you”. At about the same time in Connecticut groups of students were being led out of their school but many were not able to leave.

At 8:30am CA time I dropped my boys off to school reminding them to wear their jackets at recess. At the same time across the country news feeds were reporting multiple deaths, including children at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, CT.

At 9:00am I put on my new blue scarf for Blue Fridays and made my first ever Vlog. I was excited I completed it. Even tweeted I had done it but didn’t know how to upload it to my blog. I hadn’t watched the news. I hadn’t seen the tweets. I hadn’t seen the Facebook posts. To me it was a good day – a Blue Friday and I had a new scarf and a new video to post to my blog. I was off to have coffee with another D-mom. It really was gonna be a great day.

At about 10am CA time I was stopped at a red light. I checked out twitter. I saw tweet after tweet about a shooting. I missed the green light. I sat through it. I couldn’t believe what I was reading. My heart sank. My knuckles turned white as I gripped the steering wheel angry and sad at the same time. I arrived at Starbucks and sat in my van for a couple of minutes. I watched people come and go with coffee and scones – laughing, texting, talking. Life continued here. No parents here were rushing to a horrific scene of children in tears – in shock. I went inside to meet the other d-mom. We ordered drinks and found comfy chairs to sit in. She asked if I was getting adjusted to CA. I said yes, it’s better, I’m better. I wasn’t fully there though – in the coffee shop. I was in a classroom with terrified children. Our conversation moved on and I slowly returned to the coffee shop and my latte.

At 11am CA time I got a call from my middles. He had forgotten his library books. If I didn’t bring them he wouldn’t get to participate in fun Friday. Normally I would say “sorry you need to be more responsible”, today I said “I will bring them. I love you.”

After running home to fetch the books and then dropping them at the school I came home and began reading all the news about the tragedy. I noticed the shooters name was mentioned multiple times in many of the articles. That’s when I realized I don’t want to know his name. I don’t want to know about him. I want to know the victims names. I want to hear how wonderful and full of light they each were. I want to remember them not him. I realized today that I know too many names of killers; Timothy McVeigh, Eric Harris, Dylan Klebold, Wade Page. I don’t want to know these names – Id rather remember the victims and celebrate their lives.

Couldn’t we all agree not to use the shooters name. From what I have read the killer is dead. There will be no trial. Of course¬†stories and reports will still need to come. Families will want answers. Couldn’t we just call him the Sandy Hook Shooter – not use his name. I don’t want to know it. I don’t want to remember it.

My deepest prayers and sympathy go out to all the families of Sandy Hook elementary. There is no greater loss than the loss of a child. I am so sorry for this and too many other tragedies like it.

2 thoughts on “I Don’t Want to Know His Name

  1. It was a rough day for me too, knowing my son was sitting in his kindergarten classroom just two small states away. There are lots of thoughts that went through my mind that I won’t share here.

    But CNN tweeted the following (edited) which absolutely INFURIATED me: “Suspect in #Newtown shooting identified as firstname #lastname…”. What bugged me was not that they gave the name (which, we later found, turned out to be wrong; it was the shooter’s brother’s name), but that they inserted a # symbol before his last name. Seriously, if they want to report the news, that’s OK, but to do it as a hashtag so it appears to be “trending” on Twitter just seemed tasteless and reeked of misguided priorities.

    The victims’ names might be released tomorrow, I understand. Personally, I’d wait and give them all the time they need to mourn privately before releasing them. But I never realized the power of victims’ names until 2006. My local NY paper published a booklet of all the 9/11 victims names and faces, and as I looked through the pages, it made it all seem that much more real. Suddenly, it wasn’t about the big published numbers, but it was about a single number: one. One life, one complete story to tell. Then another and another, but each one was individual and unique, and each one deserves their legacy not to get lost in the crowd of all the others.


    1. Thanks Scott for a wonderful reply. I do hope they refrain from releasing the names for a bit. Give families time – although there will never truly be enough time. I hadn’t seen the tweet with the hashtags – so distasteful. Your comment about each life having a story to tell – touches me. I want to know about them – not the shooter – he doesn’t deserve my attention. Thanks for the comment and for such wise words.


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