I wanted to start a shrine memorial in town with a simple piece of art and some candles. I would love for the community to come together in this way but I'm not the person to start it. When I drove up there and walked around, it just didn't feel right for me...I am admittedly introverted at times and generally community shy, truth be told. My intuition was sending me home and I listened. I decided to make my own personal shrine at home, on our home altar outside by the statue of Mary.
My daughter, who is 6 years old helped me. My husband and I had decided not to tell her the details but to make sure she was aware of it in a way that she could process. We would rather her have a loving and compassionate foundation for understanding this rather than one based on fear and pain. You never know what kids are going to hear in school or other places. She is only six but she understands the need for prayer and sending out of love to those in need.
We told her that many people including children and teachers had gotten hurt and killed up north by a bad man (after she asked who did it) and that it was good to send Love and Light to their souls as they journey as well as Love and Light to their loved ones. I watched her face change from worry and sorrow to a sweetness and a universal understanding of compassion.
It's hard to know what to do in these situations and each must decide what is right for their own family. I honor and understand the need for silence in many of my friends' families, but silence would have been a risky path to follow for us. My child, who attends a public school is an empath like me and has been moody all week and angry too. She needs to be able to discern the difference between her own emotions and others. She needs a foundation of love and compassion to work from. Our little shrine has helped us to do that, to facilitate our own healing and more importantly to come together and send that love and healing out to those who so desperately need it.