letter writing / living / reading / write here write now

WORDS AND HEALING

A child in grief, photo from Trade Arabia

A child in grief, photo from Trade Arabia

Along with America, I and every father, mother, brother, sister, uncle, aunt mourn the loss of the beautiful children of Newtown, Connecticut, all twenty of them under the age of seven, along with six of their guardians at the Sandy Hook Elementary School who were powerless to defend them against the brute force of guns and the violence of a disturbed mind.

I offer a moment a prayer, as well as a gentle reminder that greater care is needed by the children who survived the atrocity, particularly the brothers and sisters of the slain, and their classmates who will eventually have to return to Sandy Hook and its tragic memories.

Below is an excerpt from a letter I handwrote for my six-year-old niece Rafa Patawaran, who was only five when I was writing it, as a prologue, a kind of dedication in my book, Write Here Write Now: Standing at Attention Before My Imaginary Style Dictator, and an ode to the personal letter.

This book is for you, your little sister Georges, and my other nieces, your cousins Tisha and Martha, as well as for all the world’s children who, like you, are now learning their ABCs, their do-re-mis, their one-two-threes… May you and all these children find your voice and keep it, despite all the noises as well as the other voices that may try to drown it as you turn from children to grownups. May it be yours when you need to be heard or read or understood or to express who you are, what you want, what makes you happy. May words inspire and empower you, and bring you closer and closer to your dreams…

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