Dec 162012

Hi Friends.

In an hour, the kids and I are heading to the airport. Back to Virginia to be with my people.  I just booked the flights yesterday. I couldn’t spend another day without my Sister and my (her) baby. Can you blame me?

Bubba and Tisha will pick us up at the airport. I just want my mom and my dad. Don’t you? I want my friends. And more than I want my friends, I want their kids. I need to hold and smell and pray for each one of them. I need to check in to make sure the things I love are real.

I don’t have anything helpful to say. I’m sorry. I wish I did. I will tell you that I am so, so grateful for this place. I needed it the last two days. I needed you. So many Is. Grief and anger and hopelessness are personal and selfish, I guess. Until they’re not. Then they usually turn into good works and connection. Eventually. St. Anne Lamott always reminds us that it’s the eventually part that blows. Time takes time. We have to just let it be unbearable and awful for as long as it takes.

Here’s what we decided after Aurora. Still true, I think:

  When the world feels too loud, we must be quiet. When the world feels too violent, we must be peaceful. When the world seems evil, we must be good.

A Monkee added this: the harder life is the softer I must become. I think that for now, this is true. Softness is not weakness. It’s where true strength is born. Water is soft, and rocks are hard. Over time- the water wins. Even the rock succumbs to water, eventually. That freaking word again. Eventually. Time takes time. I believe that God’s love and parents’ love are like water. Stay soft.

I can tell I’m getting softer. I’m so grateful to God for that. There were comments made on our FB page that a year ago would have sent me into a rage and a deep depression. Not anymore. Folks need to say what they need to say. The expression of grief and anger are so unique to each of us. I’m just glad we can hold a safe space for people to express their pain. It’s okay. We can handle it.  I hear the humanity and desperation and ultimately, the LOVE, behind the comments of EVERYONE this time around. EVERYONE, from both sides of the every “issue.” I hear my friends who are furious at me for believing in God. I understand. I hear my friends who are defending God like their very lives depend on it. I understand. I hear my friends who are screaming for gun control and my friends who are screaming against it. I think, at the end of the day, that both groups think their way is the way to protect their children. I understand.

As for me, I’m at ground zero. For the first time in my life, I know that I don’t know ANYTHING. Maybe one day I will, but today I don’t. I keep thinking of that line from An American President. “These are serious times and they call for serious people.” I think if never before, now is the time to admit that the problems we have are very,very complicated and multi-layered and desperate. And to solve them, it’s going to take all of us. Right now, we cannot scream at each other for peace. I can’t anyway. If we’ve done what we’ve always done, we’ll get what we’re always gotten. We’ve got to try something else. I don’t know what yet.  I just want to admit I don’t know and ask for help from everyone. We need everybody’s very best, very highest self to step forward.

And I just know I want my mom and dad and Bobby and Sister and Brother in law and I want to hold my friends’ babies. That will have to be okay for now. I’m going home. To love and be loved.

Adrianne sent me this yesterday:

“The teachers who hid in the bathroom with students during yesterday’s massacre read books to the kids to keep them quiet and calm. They read books to the little ones, G. In the midst of so much darkness and evil, books…written words…were the light. I know books saved you. They saved some precious babies yesterday, too. Thank God for all the writers of the world who put pen to paper and create life rafts for the rest of us.”

We are both teachers and writers and readers, Adrianne and I. And so this part. Those teachers. Protecting the hearts and bodies of their babies with books. Well. Thank you. That’s all. Thank you to all the teachers. All the helpers.

I’ve got no advice nor solutions for the world. I just know that I still love this broken place and the broken folks in it. The brutality is deeper and more horrific than I’ve ever understood before. But the beauty is deeper and more blindingly present than I understood before either.

We are living in a very dark world but the candle reminds us that darkness cannot extinguish the tiniest flame. Darkness has no breath.

Each night –  for the next twenty six nights – I’ll be holding my ten minute vigils. I start at 8:30 EST and end at 8:40.  I don’t do much. I just light a candle and take it outside. I go outside to remember that we all live under the same sky. I sit with my candle for ten minutes. I try to pray but usually I just stare at the flame and try to empty my mind. Each vigil  I’ll dedicate to one of the beloved who died this week. I’m starting tonight with the principal, Dawn Hochsprung. She was a mama of five. She called her kindergartens “kinders.” I know that there is a special place in heaven for folks who call kindergarteners kinders.


We are members of two worlds down here. One is the world of politics and marches and petitions and votes and opinions and arguments and that world is very, very important. I will re-enter it someday soon, I’m sure. But there’s another world, too. That world is the kingdom of God. And I just know, the very very wise fool in me knows that in the Kingdom of God, one mama with a two dollar candle on her back porch is equally important.


During the Vietnam war there was a man who stood outside the White House every night holding a single candle. After several weeks, the news discovered him and a reporter came and said something like, “Sir. Do you really think that standing here with this candle is going to change the world’s mind?” And the man looked at him and said, “I don’t stand here with my candle to change the world. I stand here to keep the world from changing me.”

I love you. I am so grateful for you. I deeply, deeply cherish you and your families. I can’t do much. But I’ll show up here. This year- 2013. I’ll keep showing up. I will keep my candle lit. I will stay soft. Soft like a river.

Pray for Peace, People Everywhere.


Carry On, Warrior
Author of the New York Times Bestselling Memoir CARRY ON, WARRIOR
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  119 Responses to “Vigil”

  1. Hiya, I’m really glad I’ve found this info. Nowadays bloggers publish only about gossips and web and this is actually frustrating. A good site with interesting content, this is what I need. Thanks for keeping this website, I’ll be visiting it. Do you do newsletters? Cant find it.

  2. […] This quote”We are living in a very dark world but the candle reminds us that darkness cannot extinguish the tiniest flame. Darkness has no breathe.” – Glennon […]

  3. Glennon< i just want to wish you a blessed and healthy new year. I pray for more peace in your life.

  4. […] Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like […]

  5. Glennon, Your response really touched me. So many tears. I want to share something that comforted me. I have a 6 year old, Anna Cate, who is in the first grade (and I’m an 8th teacher). i havent talked to her very much about the shooting, but this morning when she saw me crying I asked her how she thinks a 6 year old felt. Do you think they were brave or scared and she said “they were probably brave because they had God in their heart, and knew HE would take care of them in heaven.” I hope so…. If its all just a hoax, I’m still thankful to be a believer because comfort and hope are worthy.
    Anyway, I wrote about my grieving on my blog and I’d be so honored if you read it.

  6. Inspiring <3 "In this world a person must either be anvil or hammer." ~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. I dont want to be either.

  7. That was AJ Muste. May he rest in peace and may we learn from his wise, courageous, and compassionate ways.

    G wrote: “During the Vietnam war there was a man who stood outside the White House every night holding a single candle. After several weeks, the news discovered him and a reporter came and said something like, “Sir. Do you really think that standing here with this candle is going to change the world’s mind?” And the man looked at him and said, “I don’t stand here with my candle to change the world. I stand here to keep the world from changing me.”

  8. I’ve been reading this blog for a year now and have never commented. I want to say thank you, and there are more of us here with you than you even know about. Love you.

  9. You start out this post saying you have nothing to say and then you say everything. Well, much that matters, anyway. I love this post. I’m late commenting here, but wanted to anyway. I love the idea of meeting the hardness of the world by becoming softer. So true, so true. Blessings on you these days, friend. I hope today you feel God giving you one of those come up behind you wrap around hugs that won’t let go.

  10. I didn’t read all the other comments, but here goes, anyway…… “pray for peace people everywhere”

    Said the king to his people everywhere,
    Listen to what I say.
    Pray for peace people everywhere.
    Listen to what I say.
    The child, the child,
    sleeping in the night,
    he will bring us goodness and light.
    He will bring us goodness and light.

    This is what hooked me Glennon. To me, this is the substance. We can’t make sense of what happened Friday more than we can make sense of any of the ills of this world. We live in an evil and imperfect world and we will not find the peace we seek here. We will find the goodness and light when we reach the place we have been promised.

  11. “Solid stone is just sand and water….sand and water, and a million years gone by.”

    –“Sand and Water,” Beth Nielsen Chapman

    We will stay soft so we can do hard things.

  12. Hi Glennon. I have nominated you for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award. Congratulations.

  13. Glennon, I wish I could say things as simply and graciously as you do. My mind works in a different way and what comes forth is a different dialect. But what I find miraculous (as in a miracle) is that we keep coming to the same conclusions about life, love, humanity and the importance of the small things. I too feel like I know nothing, and yet at the same time, I’m more grounded Truth than every before.

    I couldn’t even listen to the details of Sandy Hook until the next day; until I could put my head in the right place to absorb the reality of what occurred. When I was able to calm my fear, access my God, this is what poured out of me.

    Much of the inspiration came from Brene Brown. This woman and I, we speak the same dialect and I am connecting with her message in a very deep way. Since you have introduced me to Brene, through your post, I have encountered her name in other, unrelated circles. I know it was God showing me what I needed to learn. So thank you for that.

    Have a safe trip. Absorb the love. Keep showing up and I will, too. Namaste.

  14. […] putting love first.  Putting others first. And then acting upon that love. Even if you are to just light one candle, remembering that we all live under the same sky is enough.  But go find one thing in your life that you could change or do to put someone else whose needs are […]

  15. Hugs to you, human Monkee Mama. Biiiig hugs.

  16. Glennon –
    I have been twisting and turning and ripped apart inside since I heard the news of Sandy Hook Elementary. I have been trying to hold on to Jesus’ hand so tightly, I didn’t know what else to do. When I think of the Mama’s and Papa’s and Sister’s and Brother’s and Friend’s and Teacher’s and the First Responder’s anguish – all I can put together as a prayer for them is “HELP!”. Now, I can join you and all the other Monkees and light a candle. I needed this post, your words were so soft and healing to me. Thank you.
    XoXo Susie Malachowski

    P.S. Virginia is SO excited to have you home for the holidays!

  17. When we invaded Iraq I was stopped by a reporter from our local newspaper and asked if I agreed with the decision. I said that I did not. She then went on to ask (with some agitation): “What about terrorism,” “What about Weapons of Mass Destruction?” My response was that I did not know what to do, but I did (and still do) believe that we cannot continue to solve violence with violence.

    Thank you for your thoughtful post and yes, I too, believe we must change the way we approach these important, serious, discussions. We must let love lead the way.

    Pema Chodron says: “War and peace begin in the human heart.” Let’s wage peace today.

  18. Dearest Glennon,

    It’s so encouraging to hear you describe becoming softer. Soft is hard. Well, I mean, soft is difficult. Soft is challenging. Soft is foreign when you’re so so good at stone. But you’re right, that the soft river eventually changes the stone. And if I can’t be soft yet, I’ll at least take as much of your river as I can, knowing that eventually, eventually, soft wins. Thank you, G.


  19. I was hoping someone would bring this up! You’re right – it’s and/both. Carpe diem AND don’t carpe diem. In fact, Glennon wrote about the phenomenon a couple years ago:

    Glennon, as all of us, is an imperfect human being. She’s “thank goodness they’re finally asleep” and “please God let me hold them every minute of every day” and she’s both at the same time. Which is okay. We all are. And grace is the only way any of us will ever make it.


  20. G,
    Thank you for your honesty. On Friday night I began reading,for the third time, Abbas Child by Brennan Manning.
    A quote that I have underlined every time I read the book,helped me through this weekend when I cried……a lot, avoided the tv news,because my heart couldn’t handle it and because I wanted to protect my littles from the horror.

    “At this moment your life is a bruised reed and I will not crush it,a smoldering wick and I will not quench it. YOU ARE IN A SAFE PLACE.”

    love you

  21. I think I love the lat quote most of all b/c it is true. Seeing and hearing about the evil that happens in the world can make us hard. It is confusing and seems so horrible sometimes that we wonder how we can go on. Watching the little ones faces on the news today made it more real than ever. I’m with you at ground zero. I know enough to know…that I just don’t know. And that’s it. But I do know that one day there will be justice for all and in the meantime there will be faith to carry us through.

  22. […] like what Glennon Melton says: “I think if never before, now is the time to admit that the problems we have are very, very […]

  23. <3

  24. I love, LOVE, that little child sitting beside your candle, face in hands. I want to sit like that, curled up, with a candle. Just to sit, for as long as the candle burns, like that. Sometimes what’s out there is too much to take in, and a candle is all the light I can handle.

  25. I wish I could say that the more hardship life brings, the softer I become. But right now, it just ain’t so… I am trying hard not to let my imagination run wild with details of Friday’s tragedy. I’ve watched & listened to as little media coverage as possible. Call me a coward, I am just that. But it is making me hard, not soft. It is making me cyncical. It is making me question & curse Him. I’ll pretend it hasn’t destroyed a part of my faith, I have to, I have 4 sets of tiny eyes, 4 innocent hearts watching my every move. Thank the lucky stars for them. That they are here, safe on earth, with me…

  26. agreed.

  27. I am not really sure why you feel the need to post this here. Obviously you do not appreciate this blog, and feel the need to pick it apart. You said some positive things, but it was really a backhanded insult to Momastery.

    Everyone that reads this blog reads it for a reason, and we are all here in unity. I apologize that I cannot put my words more eloquenty as my friends who have commented, but what I am saying is to stick to blogs you enjoy, feel free to comment on those, and leave us alone.

    And yes, I say “us” because when you insult Glennon, you insult us all.

  28. Beautiful, simply beautiful Holly. Thank you, and Amen.

  29. My church took the Sunday service to dedicate our thoughts and prayers to those little babies and the adult victims. One thing our pastor shared was the tendency of the church to offer platitudes in times like these when we really need to be like Jesus. When Jesus heard of the death of his friend Lazarus, he wept. Pastor Troy said that’s the most powerful verse in the whole Bible. Jesus lets himself feel, and grieve for and with those he loves. Sunday was the first time I had let myself cry. I had been too scared to feel it before then. It was a good reminder that sometimes it’s our DUTY to cry. To feel. To become weak with grief. You can bet that Jesus was weeping that day and I’m sure that as when he bled for all of us on the cross, he too bleeds and weeps for us still. Much love to all of you, these times and always.

    • Thanks this helped me I am still.struggling with the images and horror of that day…I am so removed from it and yet I feel like it happened right next to me. I work with kids and have my own and when I look in their innocent eyes I keep imagining the horror all over. Really it could be any of us in their shoes….Glennon I am glad I am not the only person lighting a candel. I stopped after they all were buried

  30. […]  A way to express your grief – Glennon Melton of Momastery. […]

  31. My heart, prayers, love, thoughts, and oh so much more go out to each and everyone of the children, the adults, their families, and the community. It makes me so very PROUD to be a teacher on this very day.

  32. Thank you. Thank you for always speaking what is in my heart, but can’t find the words. Thank you for helping calm my soul. I am water.

  33. Love you, G. Always.

  34. Glennon,

    My husband and I both read your blog. He writes for the Chattanooga Times Free Press and his column yesterday was about the shooting in CT. I thought you might enjoy his perspective.

    Thank you for your words.

    • I think it is really hitting me lately, what happens to us between kindergarten and adulthood?

    • That was a lovely piece, thanks for sharing it. Even though my thoughts keep turning back to the horror and unbelievable sadness of what has happened, I will remember keep my eyes open for “buwds” today.

    • That was beautiful. I am sitting criss cross applesauce meditating this morning.
      My phone nearby disrupting me as I attempt to cheer up? Empty? And fill what has been emotionally drained…

      I get a notice on my phone, a little annoyed and then head to Facebook to find the Momastery vigil post and this beautiful article. And I needed to read this article today. Right now.

      “the opposite of a gunman is a teacher, and the opposite of violence is kindergarten”


  35. THANK YOU Glennon for your thoughts and words and for creating Momastery – this safe place to come and be together, to turn over questions in our minds, to find the light again and again. There is always someone here to shine it for someone else. We take turns and it’s a beautiful thing.

    I’m glad you are back sharing hugs with all your peeps in VA.
    The picture of Sister and Bobby is priceless!

    Love to you and TWextendedMF !

  36. I will join you every night with my candle here in Texas. I want the children in this world to grow up safe and strong and wiser than us. I will try to live that example and I appreciate you writing in this space and inspiring me when I feel alone and hopeless.

  37. I, for one, am so glad you’re here. To help us manage the pain, the brutal life, the amazing love we experience every day.

    Thank you.

  38. This is why we must be a part of each other– so bridges are created, and restoration can take place. A vigil can be — moments to physically be apart and yet create new connections and resonate meaning.

  39. And the man looked at him and said, “I don’t stand here with my candle to change the world. I stand here to keep the world from changing me.”

    Love this quote…. its very similar to the Garth Brooks song “The Change”… google it and you’ll find the beautiful lyrics. Here’s a link too:

    The chorus:
    “And I hear them saying you’ll never change things
    and no matter what you do it’s still the same thing
    But it’s not the world that I am changing
    I do this so this world will know that it will not change me.”

    Thanks for lighting your candle and continuing to bring light into this world Glennon.

  40. I sat outside for 10 minutes, staring at the candle in front of me. I found myself asking God to please protect my children. I felt selfish for asking this, as I know how many families are suffering tonight, I’m sorry. God, please give them strength to go on, and keep the ones you have taken smiling.

  41. This was a balanced link into our country, media and what we allow our children to watch and play:

    I am also a mother of three Aspergers children and I have it myself. It is not a disease but a syndrome. One Person is ONE person. Just like there are killers who are Neurotypical or belong to other syndromes, diseases, or mind wirings…there are also HUNDREDS of people in the same category that are good people who never loose it and balance out life in love. Sometimes in these instances we focus on the one, trying to find reasons, instead of looking to all the helpers and hundreds of good people who never give in to darker emotions or evil deeds. If he was an Aspie or Bipolar or whatever, my hope is that this does not give more stigma to people who try hard to fit in and belong and give the world their incredible gifts. yes we need more understanding as a society into all of these differences and neurodiverse beings…it starts though by recognizing the gift and unique quality of one person. If you have met one aspie you have met ONE aspie. If you have met one “normal” person you have met ONE normal person…(ted bundy does not speak for all those “normal” people and this shooter should not speak for all the differences in brain being.)

    My heart is grieving for all the empty beds and the children who had to witness such atrocity…but my heart is also grieving for all those who will now make judgements based on this man’s history or life…we never know…we can only hope, believe in the best, and try to understand ourselves so we can in turn help others understand themselves.

    • Audrey, I completely agree with you. Each person is unique.

      But even those who loose it, those who are unable to build a different path than one that leads to killing kindergardeners…deserve love and respect.

      The system failed. Humanity failed.The world was unable to offer them what they needed and they harmed a lot of people and they harmed themselves.

      I don’t believe in bad people. I believe in bad circumstances, in unlucky people unable to manage feelings, I believe we were not all blessed with equal virtue. And it is OUR duty to take care of everyone. If we are able to manage our feeling, if we are lucky we never wished to kill someone, we HAVE TO help others. There is no choice. And even if we do…we are not in control.

      So, yes, all differences in brain are unique, and all deserve a chance to be happy and make other’s happy. Not everyone can get there and for that I am really sorry. We need to act.

      Blaming one only person for lost lifes of many it’s unrealistic and unfair.

      I hope we can do better so no one needs to do things like this ever again.

  42. It’s hard to put this into words…

    Thank you, those of you who thought to include the broken boy who did this and his mother… If the article on got it right (,0,1022231.story), she was a mom who gave up a lot to raise a troubled child.

    As a mom of an Aspeberger’s child, I can’t help but think of her – spending his whole life trying to help him make sense of the world… Did she die thinking she was a failure? It’s so heartbreaking. Yes, there are many saying she should never have had guns in the house. True, of course, but in hindsight.

    As heartbroken as I am for the innocent little ones who are gone, I’m also remembering a woman I never knew, who lived a hard, hard life…

  43. Tomorrow, I will face 60 of my 11 year old babies, who I know will have questions that I have no answers for. We’ve been asked by admin not to even discuss what happened. I am heart broken, but so proud of my profession, and the heroes who gave all for their babies.

  44. Thanks, Glennon. I think it’s also time for mental disorders to reach more of the forefront so that people know how to recognize signs before it’s too late. So that parents and friends of those with mental disorders find more acceptance in their communities. So that we can discuss what care people with mental disorders need and see that they get it. Mental diseases of one kind or another are behind all the recent shooting rampages. The signs were all there for the people who knew how to recognize them – there were just not enough of those people around, to intervene and protect the innocent.

  45. Sometimes Christianity makes me flinch – all the intolerance in the name of the Bible. I just want to say that your take on Christianity, Glennon, feels like the peace and wisdom that can heal and shine. Thank you.

  46. G, I know that a lot of people hugged their children tighter this weekend. I try to hug them the tightest everytime they go anywhere, there will be a day when they won’t want me to. I am taking complete advantage of being able to do so now. I have read the recaps of what happened and my heart is broken. Reading the list of those that were killed made me cry for over an hour. I truly don’t know how I would go on if this happened to one of my babies.

  47. In times like these I freeze. I can’t pray. I can’t smile ( a real smile anyway) I can’t be part of motion. I think it’s my way of absorbing an unimaginable reality. My brain simply shuts off when it can’t absorb more awfulness. My heart goes out to so many, including those mamas who live in fear of their own children. Those mamas are extra fearful today because their worst fears played out in someone else’s life.

    My brain will open again soon and I will pray hard Glennon. Pray hard for mercy, for each of the victims families to be able to eventually have one minute of peace, a moment without crippling grief and fear. I will pray for the shooters family. I will pray for our world to be seekers of knowledge and solutions to this sickening trend amongst the mentally ill. I will pray for the school staff and students. I will pray that our leaders don’t use this for political agenda.

    And finally, I will pray that we find God in every day and we do everything we can to represent him in all we do.

    Oh goodness, I think I just thawed a bit. Thank you for this blog Glennon and the freedom of speech you enjoy and encourage, even when it’s not easy.

  48. Thank you for your words and your honesty and your heart.
    There was a shooting at my husband’s school last March. A young Spanish teacher shot the headmistress & then himself. It was horrific. It is horrific. But what I remember, and what I want to share is this: that boy who shot all those babies was someone’s baby himself. He was a beloved who is lost, so very lost, as well. Could the vigil last 27 nights, G, instead of 26? I can do that last one if you can’t. I understand if you can’t.

    • Katie, I think the shooter’s mama would make 28. I am going to pray 28 nights.

    • Thank you for this!
      I’m so very sorry for all the families who lost one of their’s, so sorry for the children and adults who had to go through that, so incredibly sorry for the parents who lost their sweet little children, I can’t even begin to understand what they are going through, and every time I think that I start to cry.

      But, my heart always goes to Adam as well. I’m constantly wondering what kind of pain he was in. So, I am so sorry for him too. Not “The shooter” but Adam, a person who felt probably so strongly that he couldn’t bear it. I’m feeling he’s pain (though i will NEVER understand how much pain he had to bear to do something like this).
      And I also understand if it’s hard or impossible to see he’s side right now. But after studying about mental illnesses in school this year, I just can’t but think his hard part in this life.

      Thank you Glennon for your beautiful words too!

      • Thank you Katie, Lori, Jen, and Beth. It’s hard for a lot of people to remember that he was someone’s little one as well. Perhaps he was lost long before 12/14. But I think it’s a good think to honor that loss as well. And, like Katie said, it’s absolutely perfectly alright if you can’t.


      • You are right Beth, I should have used Adam’s name. He was God’s child in great pain.

  49. G and monks: the post. the comments. So much of my heart shared in your words without me having to find my own. We do belong to each other. They are all our children. May we all stay soft, find extra hands to extend to those on the margin, and pull everyone into a circle where love is abundant, where pain can be assuaged.

    Holding space. Keeping vigil. Crying out to Jesus. Hugging my children and finding at least a thousand kairos moments a day. xoxo to all of you.

  50. Your words have been just what I needed. Thank you
    Glennon. Peace from me to you.

  51. I have a kinder. I have been hugging him extra tight. I am so sad and scared and overwhelmed. I am so very grateful for you and your words. They help my pain. I pray they help others also. Please hug your mom a little tighter for me.

  52. Thank you for your beautiful words, because at this time I don’t have any. I have a 7 year old and a 2 year old and my heart and mind just can’t begin to understand how something like this could happen. I will pray for every suffering family, for every child and teacher that have now become a beautiful star…filling our sky and making it even brighter than ever. I will be with you at 8:30pm holding my candle.

  53. When I am hurt and confused and angry I ALWAYS turn to God. WIthout fail. But this week…this week God and I aren’t on speaking terms. I know that this is misplaced anger but this shooting has turned everything I thought I knew about this world completely on its head. So for the past few days, all of you–this beautiful community–is where I’ve sought comfort. Where I’ve found my God without having to, on top of feeling so much grief and pain, get down on my knees and humbly ask God to help me find grace in all of this and to help me lend my heart to those who need it more than I do right now. As selfish and shallow as it sounds, I haven’t been able to do that yet. So I come here. Where I know that my pain, however selfish and shallow it may be, will be accepted and shared and loved by women everywhere offering support. Thank you Monks and Glennon for providing a sanctuary for my heart, for helping me find my God again, and for planting a seed of healing love that this nation so badly needs.

  54. Glennon,
    Thank you for sharing your words ~ in a time when no words seem adequate ~ yours speak to my heart.
    God bless you and yours and keep you safe.

  55. Perfect words, G. If only the our whole world could focus on being soft…what a world that would be.

    Enjoy your time with your family.

  56. After we’ve soaked up our families and grieved for those who aren’t able to soak up their own, this may be a good place to start taking action. Just came across this blog post, written by a mother of a 13 yr. old boy who has a mental illness.

    • Oh, my! A must read.

      • This was a MUST read…esp the end. We need another option other than jail. My nephew was like that and he was sent to an institution at 12 for killing a baby dear- turns out is rytillen made him go crazy…but at the institution there were older boys who taught him more…they taught him how to steal, how to hurt, how to be hardened…he came out worse from the government required “help” when really he should have been on new meds and given more understanding into himself through therapy, healing and understanding.
        She was right…we need to change this system and we need to give more help and less judgements to those who are simply trying their best with what they have.

  57. Thank you for sharing…thanking for having a place to speak up and share. I have read so much anger in the past days….we need love, compasion…we do not gain anything with anger, it does not change history. But we can teach with love, understanding, compasion and God. At the end God has a plan…we must pray so He can give us the wisdom to learn from each situation we encounter in our life. It is not easy but with God in our heart, it gets easier. Thank you for reminding me to. Be softer…it is difficult sometimes, but I must. I have my children today, I must love them and enjoy them. I do not know what God’s plan is for tomorrow….I must be softer. At the end, bad things will happen…all the time…it part of existing in this world. Hard to understand…but we must stay soft strong! Blessings to every mother who has lost a child in any manner..God have mercy on us and grant us peace

  58. Thank you for your beautifully written, kind and truly thoughtful words. I have been trying to find a way to process this without being to emotional (for the sake of my young kids who do not know what happened but are old enough to ask questions.) You have found away to express in words how I feel in my heart. Thank you. I will be praying and staying soft as well.


  59. I needed this…and I love that quote at the end, “I stand here to keep the world from changing me.”. So very powerful. I feel like sometimes I get lost from the real me, the me that knows everyone deserves chance(s), everyone deserves love, compassion, a kind heart & smile, a soft place to land. Instead I get lost in the fact that this brutiful world tells me all those things are weakness and I need to toughen my skin and the “world” is out to get me so I need to be on high alert at all times. And to that I say hogwash….I need to be soft; soft for me to land, for my children and husband to land, to my family to land and to all the brothers and sisters in this world to land. To extend a hand of generous and kind spirit not to pull back and offer a hard shelled exterior. Thanks, G, for this today.

  60. G- Thank you so much for your words and all that you do. Life is very complicated and sad in so many ways right now. Thank you for giving us a safe place. Enjoy your time with your family!

  61. Perfect words and meaning for me. Thank you.

  62. Beautifully spoken. I have also been soul searching and looking for answers and have found myself reaching “ground zero.” Thank you for your words that I found full of guidance and hope.

  63. Love this post.

  64. Maybe the challenge is uniting the two worlds – when the time comes to re-enter the world of politics, marches and “action,” it must be after a time of deep introspection.

    I keep coming back to your words, “We belong to each other.” And if that is true, then we are all responsible for the way of the world. Instead of blaming each other or arguing over the reasons for this type of tragedy, maybe we should start by being introspective and take our own responsibility really seriously. We need to ask ourselves if our words and actions come from a place of kindness and compassion to others, and recognize that when the answer is “yes” we may not see the ripple effect that those words and actions will have, but we still need to have faith that they will be felt; that they matter. The same is true when our answer is “no,” which it is sometimes, because we’re human; in which case, we can’t pretend that they don’t matter or that no one will notice, and so we commit to try to do better next time. I think we all need to ask if our life’s work, our jobs, our daily practices, actions, reactions, and words are coming from a place of kindness and compassion. Not that I know anything, necessarily…it’s just what I think. It’s what “Pokemon” is telling me today 😉 So, so simple and yet intricately complicated, because we can’t change anyone else’s answers to those questions to suit our own.

    I made a choice yesterday to focus on peace. I reminded myself that none of us is guaranteed more than the breath we are taking right now, so we need to live with gratitude for it. This is an idea I can grasp for myself much more easily than I can grasp for my children, for whom I want desperately to guarantee a bright future. The opposite prospect leaves me scared and angry. So my goal is to try to focus on peace rather than anger, because my focus, words and actions from this point forward are all I really have control over anyway.

    I am hugging my kids a lot tighter today, but I have to remember to feel like that every other day, too. My heart breaks for all of us, because we are all feeling the loss of this horrific tragedy, but of course, I cry most of all for the families who have lost their most precious loved ones.

    Thank you for this space you have created – this space where people can come together and find peace in a world that is often cruel due to all of our imperfections, due to the constant tests that challenge us all to do good, but that we, as human beings, all fail at one time or another, sometimes utterly despicably. This is a space that allows us to think about things a little differently, that allows us all to be teachers, students, thinkers, writers and promoters of love. You are doing your part to make the world a better place with this space. It’s already happening, and the seeds you plant will continue to grow and germinate far beyond your awareness – now AND eventually. Thank you for doing your part so beautifully, and for providing a place for the rest of us to try to do our part, too.

  65. Praying for peace. Xox. I have sobbed and held my kids and prayed.. But now I know to honour these families I must not live in fear but instead believe in all things good while the bad stuff is with us. I love the idea of doing random acts of kindness in honour of the victims and lighting candles. Thanks for all the words;)

  66. I think we all can relate to your feelings of wanting to be with family, kids – anyone’s kids. We all, maybe for the first time in our adult life, realize how vulnerable we are. That no matter how hard we try, how much we love, how many challenges we face . . . there is something that can overpower us. Something we don’t have control over. Something we don’t understand and that challenges our faith, our strength and our security. So we have to reach really deep inside ourselves to find more love, and more strength and more patience so that we can help ourselves and others, heal.

  67. Thanks so much for your words, G. I was sitting in my classroom when I got an email saying what had happened. I was stunned. The principal didn’t want us to say anything to our kids – not yet. It was torture, sitting there, watching them happily chatting with each other and working on a group project, no idea what horrible news they were going to hear at the end of the school day. The first place I went to for comfort was momastery. I figured it would be too soon for you to post anything, but I had to see. This place makes me feel safe. It give me hope. I know you don’t have the answers, but you do know how to make us feel like we are not alone in this world. THANK YOU.

  68. I am so beyond grateful for you. For us. I have no wisdom. I have no answers, and I will defend God like my life depends on Him, (it does.). I will cry. I will hold my six year old baby close and pray until I fall asleep. I will decorate a Christmas tree, and go to a children’s basketball game. And I will hold space. I stand, no. that isn’t true because I’m not standing yet, I’m still reeling on my knees or curled in the fetal position right now, but I will stand soon I think. My mother is a teacher and my son is student and they mean so much to me I can’t breathe. I need to focus on love. The beautiful teacher who hid thoes babies in a bathroom and told them all she loved them very much…. I am in agony over the hurt that took place there.. and yet thoes words she spoke to scared babies….. they are strong, powerful, beautiful words and there was nothing better that teacher could have said. So, another time I will take a stand on issues. Some other time I’ll come back to political venues. Now. This time. I’m going to gather my son into my arms and we are going to church. Love to all of you. And prayers for your families.

  69. I was a kindergarten teacher for 10 yrs before switching to 2nd grade. I always called my kiddos “my kinders”. My class now I looped with so this our second year together. They are my 19 “other children”. I pray for strength tomorrow as they walk into my classroom…

  70. G, I trembled like a leaf last night reading the updates. One child we lost shares the same last name as my family. This trembling leaf almost fell from the tree last night. Just hearing you speak to this, validating the bewilderment and pain that has opening like a black hole in my chest, is like someone putting a finger to a tuning fork. I thank you. And I call my highest self forward.

  71. I am crying … crying so hard I can hardly breathe. I understand your need to be with your family right now. I want to scoop up everyone I love, and just hold them for a very long time. My babies and their babies are not where I can physically do that right now, so I have been sending daily, I love you’s. I will join you in your vigil, but I am going to do something else too. I am stealing this idea from somebody on facebook, but I don’t think she will mind. I am going to do 28 random acts of kindness for strangers in honor of each victim. I am including the incredibly broken shooter and him mama too. I will be soft.

    I think I can speak for all Virginia Monkees … we are glad to have you home for a little while. Love you G.

  72. Glennon, I recently discovered your blog through a friend of mine and wow! I’m so thankful I did. Your writing moves me deeply and gives me light in the”dark place” I’m in right now. All that I can say is, I know what you’re feeling because I too have been there. Just yesterday, with tears in my eyes, I said to myself…”I just want my mom.” Like a little child would! That’s how I felt though, like a child, and YES we do just need our families unconditional love to feel safe sometimes. I know I do…

    • I hear you sister. There’s a lot of darkness out there. Hang on to the light. I’m glad you found this place.


  73. No words, but here in CT, you have my heart, and my gratitude.

  74. Thank you sweet G. I am going to do the same. This has rocked all of us to the core – our hearts, minds and souls. I am a Catholic, but one who has struggled with that faith. I volunteered this year to teach kinder CCD in one way to give back, in another to pay it forward, and also to help reinforce the simplicity of the religious tenets I was taught by sweet nuns and lay teachers and kind priests. It’s working, a bit. Each Tuesday I look at those sweet faces with their energy and sweetness and light. This Tuesday we will take 10 minutes and each light a candle … until we get to 28 candles. For we must not forget, and we must forgive. I don’t need to explain to them why – my 6 year old doesn’t know and most of them probably won’t either. But we will lift our small voices to God and hope.

  75. Thank you, G., for putting your thought in writing. So much of what you wrote here is how I feel. Seeing these thoughts in writing helped me to be less confused with my own confusion. I simply do not know the answers! I only know that horror, hurt and pain are the appropriate way to feel in this grief. I so wish my parents were still alive so I could go home to them, too. Instead, I made sure to be with my own daughter and grandchildren last night. I needed to be absorbed in life and love. Your candle idea is wonderful. I may just be joining you in that. Hug well, breath in those babies sweet smells. Get lost in it.

  76. I will join you, with my candle, for the next 26 nights. Pray for peace, people, everywhere.

  77. I’m in that same place, Glennon. I know we have to do something different- I’ve a feeling it has to do with seeing people and recognizing their pain, but I am afraid of witch hunts and targeting people with mental illness. I will be with you during your vigils, first here in Albuquerque, then in TX and FL as we make out yearly pilgrimage to Grandma’s for Christmas.
    I am sad for empty beds and grateful for the full ones here in my home.

  78. It does take time to become softer, quieter, less judgemental, kinder. It takes time to hear quiet and softness and whispers. But one day at a time, if we light a candle and “hold a space” for peace, if we remember that there are people like you shining your light, maybe, just maybe it will happen. I am so grateful to you for your courage.

  79. Beautifully written G, thank you for sharing from your heart. Have a wonderful visit with your sweet family. Praying for peace.

  80. That’s all we can do is pray for Peace and be soft, be peace. Enjoy your time with Sister. I will enjoy my time with the Sisters I made, my baby girls. LOVE.

  81. I love you, Glennon. All of us are rocked to our core and I don’t think anyone knows where to go from here. I keep looking up and I will keep your wise words in my heart and STAY SOFT. I will love this world and pray hard for everyone, even Adam Lanza. I will also be fierce: love my daughter fiercely and protect her. Love others fiercely and protect them. And be angry. You can still be soft and be angry. I will use my anger in a graceful way and in a useful way. That’s the best I can think to do.

  82. Thank you.

  83. Wonderful words. I completely agree. I love what you said about the principal and kinders. It really is the little things that make a huge difference. Trying to stay soft…

  84. I will light my candle with you and think of the love that you and this place puts out into this world. Mighty souls are those precious babies and teachers. I will feel their love that unites us to remember, to feel and to know. I love you so much, Glennon.

  85. Thank you.

  86. This was my response to what happened because I agree so much that we MUST be the light of the world. We have to practice love and kindness and generosity…we have to. For ourselves, for our children, for the world at large.

  87. oh the pain…the REAL, raw, entirely valid and terrible, pain….
    These days I’ve been reflecting on how this ‘holiday season’, originally, wasn’t the festive time we observe now. Everyone was in waiting. Everyone was in darkness. No one could ‘hurry along’ the process, and even when It had arrived…there were still so many years of misunderstanding and growth. And now we’re back to the waiting….
    Candles, alone and in the dark as we wait for Light…. Present with you.

  88. Thank you. You said a lot.

  89. love you, G, thank you for being you.

  90. Beautiful words. I will join you tonight – candle lit in rememberance. God Bless Us, Everyone.

  91. We can never pray too much. NEVER. Remembering the new angels in Heaven, and praying for the families who are left to mourn their too-early, violent departure from this earth. May God comfort them, carry them, and guide them in the dark, dark days ahead.

  92. Beautiful words. Thank you. I am crying. Best wishes for you and yours. My prayers are with all. The babies (they were), the adults and the families of all. For our world. For me too. Take care. El : )

  93. thank you for the bottom of my heart

  94. I will hold vigil with you, Glennon. I’ll make mine 8:30pm Mountain Standard Time so that I can begin when the kiddos are in bed and help with an around the clock vigil for remembrance and love.

    During our first vigil I said my very first Rosary in it’s entirety. I know we’re of all different faiths here, this is one of the reasons I love Momastery so much. I love our diversity of thought and belief. I know the Rosary is not for everybody but for me, saying that Rosary was beautiful. I needed a prayer where I didn’t have to do the crafting of words. I had none left to craft. So, instead I lost myself in the beauty of the rhythm of repeated words. And, wouldn’t you know, Friday was a day for reflecting on the Sorrowful mysteries…the path of Christ to the cross from Gethsemane. It was perfect.

    Thank you for inviting me to hold space with you. It was beautiful and it will be beautiful.

  95. Thank you for your words. Praying for those sweet souls.

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