John Blyberg graduated from Staples in 1992. Today, he posted these thoughts on Facebook:
This morning dawned on 20 sets of parents who are being driven to madness by grief. They will live the rest of their lives skirting around the tattered edges of their loss as though it were a giant sinkhole in the middle of the kitchen floor. And into that sinkhole will slide their hopes, their dreams, their plans, their purpose.
Siblings will grow up in homes that are perpetually burning to the ground in the flames of loss. They will grow up, have children of their own who will see pictures of their tiny aunts and uncles, as they were, frozen in the days before. This tragedy will reverberate down through generations, never fully disappearing, its permanent stain indelibly shaded into the landscape of time.
In the coming days and weeks, the simplest things will cause unendurable pain. Backpacks will be unpacked, revealing uneaten snacks. Names will be peeled from cubbies. Christmas presents will sit unopened. In their rooms, PJs remain on the floor, where they were hastily cast aside in the rush to get ready for school. Artwork, with its chunky color and rough-hewn joy, will flutter for years where they were placed, with pride, on the refrigerator.
In a thousand tiny ways, our little ones touch our lives every day. Never take them for granted, because every breath they take is a gift, every mark they place on the world is a miracle, and every smile they bring to our face is a moment worth living a lifetime for.
My heart breaks for our neighbors up the road.