“Hope is the thing with feathers –

That perches in the soul –

And sings the tune without the words –

And never stops – at all -“

Emily Dickinson

This past week I spoke with several parents who were reeling from this latest school shooting.  Fear, anxiety and grief foremost in their hearts.

This is when it’s hardest to be a parent – to face this type of vulnerability in our children – in ourselves.

And that’s why this first stanza of Emily Dickinson’s poem means so much to me.  Because despite our fears, hope resides – and stays “perched” in our souls – to lean on, to count on – to heal.

For it is this “hope” that helps our children as well as ourselves to carry on, to be brave, to look ahead, to find strength. And with this hope, we see our children, our friends, our neighbors in a new light – a new togetherness.

Because parenting is universal – and I believe one parent’s grief is felt in every parent’s heart.

Parents want to know what to do, how to protect their children, what to say.

I say for now – slow down a bit – circle the wagons – have family time – connect with those who are close to you – and let yourselves and your children feel held, feel the love, feel the connection, the safety -without words.

Let you all feel the genuine “hope that perches in your soul”.


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