I first heard those words from Barbara Coloroso, author of Parenting
Through Crisis, at a Director's Conference I was attending in Colorado while
working as the NJ State Chapter Director for Rainbows. The author had survived having two daughters diagnosed with cancer, a traumatic auto accident, a best friend kidnapped and tortured in Lebanon, and the loss of many family members and friends. Living in Littleton, Colorado, she had spent the previous year providing support for the families affected by the tragedy at Columbine High School. We listened closely to her message that despite unspeakable tragedy life was still good.
I was reminded of this as I listened to the parents of Grace McDonnell, one of the children killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Somehow these parents, who had just so horribly lost their beautiful daughter Grace, chose to speak a message of love and peace. I was awed by their capacity for grace in the midst of such trauma. They reminded me that I have a choice. I could choose to have my spirit broken or I could consciously choose to carry forward the spirit of this remarkable little girl who was “all about peace, love and kindness.”
This past year many people came together to help create Imagine, and imagined with us a world in which trauma could be transformed into resiliency, healing and hope. 52 adults and teens became trained facilitators and provided support for the over 120 children, teens and adults who attended Imagine this past year.
We are inspired and awed daily by the families and children who attend Imagine and by the people who support us and who believe in the transformative power of a loving community that makes sure children and teens get the support they need when someone they love has died. Life isn’t fair. Life hurts. And life is very, very good.