When losing a child is the result of wanton violence, the response of these parents is truly remarkable.
In this interview Rachel Maddow interviews the parents of Ben Wheeler. Ben was 6 years old when he was gunned down at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut (a month before this interview).
Yes it’s a tear jerker but you won’t be sorry. These parents are role models for how to grieve with courage and purpose.
Here’s what impressed me so much…
• They recognize they are still Ben’s parents and that they still have a responsibility to him. Ben is still part of their lives and will remain so.
• They talk about parenting Ben’s older brother and clearly struggle with how to help him through his grief. I’d give them pretty high marks in this.
• Ben’s dad talked about one of the huge ways parents get stuck…feeling responsible even when they clearly bear no responsibility in their son’s death. And he talks about how that pops up in unpredictable ways.
• Even at this early point in their grief, they are transforming their rage into outrage, power and action. Make no mistake that is an incredibly difficult thing to do. Great role models here for anyone struggling with anger.
• They recognize they need to take care of themselves during this process. Though committed to doing whatever they can to prevent another tragedy, they also recognize they have to go slowly because they are grieving.
I’d love to hear your takeaways below. Please leave a comment.