Posted on June 1, 2022 by Lisa Thomas under Uncategorized
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In case the title did not tell you, the following post is, in part, about the tragic events that took place in Uvalde, Texas on Tuesday, May 24th.  If this subject is triggering to you in any way, I encourage you to turn your attention elsewhere, at least for today. 


Once again, if I had thrown a crumpled piece of paper into my relatively large waste basket every time I pressed the backspace key or simply highlighted everything and hit delete, I would already have been forced to empty it at least twice—and that’s after mashing everything down repeatedly.  The anger over the events of May 24th in Uvalde, Texas is still present, perhaps having grown even stronger with the passage of time.  It hasn’t helped that I’ve read everything coming across my computer screen or phone or iPad in an effort to understand and to gather enough facts to present an accurate, concise portrayal of whatever it is I’m trying to convey.  Which is rather difficult since I don’t even know what that is . . . because sorrow doesn’t allow for clarity and anger doesn’t easily give way to rational thought.

For the vast majority of us, that day will eventually fade from our thoughts—at least until the next time.  We’ll hug our children a little tighter and be a little more patient—for now.  In the days that followed we’ve been angry and heartbroken and devastated over what has taken place—but not in the months . . . or the years . . . that will come after. But in Uvalde nothing will ever be the same.  Not in a few months.  Not in a few years.  Not in a few lifetimes will they forget.  Even if the school is demolished and the students and faculty moved to another facility, the people of Uvalde will still pass by that ground . . . ground that will be sacred to so many of them . . . and point to it saying, “That’s where Robb Elementary was.  That’s where ___________ died . . .”.  And the graves of those children and teachers will serve as lasting reminders of lives horrifically taken in an act of unspeakable violence.  Twenty-one monuments will be engraved with different names and dates of birth.  Twenty-one monuments will all bear the same date of death.

But it isn’t just Robb Elementary or Sandy Hook or Marjory Stoneman Douglas.  It isn’t just the Pulse Nightclub or the theater in Aurora, Colorado or an outdoor concert in Las Vegas.  It isn’t just worship services in Charleston, South Carolina or Sutherland Springs, Texas or stores in Buffalo, New York or El Paso, Texas. People die on a daily basis, all across our country, as a direct result of violence in some form.  Death is already difficult enough to deal with, but death intentionally dealt by the hands of another . . .

All the thoughts and prayers in the world will not bring back the children of Uvalde.  They will not heal the broken hearts of their parents or allow them to once again hold what has been taken from them.  And mark my words, every single parent whose child died that Tuesday morning has wondered if there was anything they could have done to save them.  Many of them had attended an awards ceremony at the school earlier that day.  Now many of them are questioning why they didn’t just bring their child home when it was over.  Why did they let them stay?  They would still be alive . . . they wouldn’t have died so horribly, so violently . . . Did they suffer?  Why did it have to be that school . . . why did it have to be their child?  A million questions.  A thousand whys.  Zero answers.

It has been said that everything happens for a reason, but I don’t believe anyone can ever give a reason that will explain the tragedy of Uvalde, certainly not one that will justify the loss of life to those who are left to grieve. That’s why I contend everything doesn’t happen for a reason, but there is a reason everything happens—and that’s very different.



About the author:  Lisa Shackelford Thomas is a fourth generation member of a family that’s been in funeral service since 1926.  She has been employed at Shackelford Funeral Directors in Savannah, Tennessee for over 40 years and currently serves as the manager there.  Any opinions expressed here are hers and hers alone, and may or may not reflect the opinions of other Shackelford family members or staff.

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