Why “Our thoughts and prayers are with the families” is the ONLY appropriate response.

I usually don’t weigh in on political debates. Not because I don’t have an opinion, or because I don’t care. But because I don’t have the energy. As a grieving mom what precious energy I do have is reserved for the things that improve my life.

But after this latest shooting, I’ve seen something new happen, something that makes me MAD.

For some reason, the phrase “Our thoughts and prayers are with the families” has come under attack. People are saying it’s not the right response because it won’t fix the problem.

They have completely MISSED THE POINT.

As a mom who’s tragically lost not 1 but 2 children let me explain why saying “our thoughts and prayers are with you” is the ONLY appropriate response in the wake of such tragedy.

After my children were killed in a car accident I heard so many people say this to me. Each “I’m praying for you” or “I’m thinking of you” was cherished. Every. Single. One.

But more than that, I craved the prayers of others. I knew I couldn’t do this on my own. I desperately needed the thoughts and prayers of others. Especially when my prayers consisted of only 2 words: “help me”.

I needed the prayers of others so much I was afraid to tell people when I was having a good day. I was worried hearing that I was doing well would make people think I was “better” and they would stop praying.

I firmly believe it was the prayers of others that helped me survive that first year. And continues to help me as I navigate life without my boys.

In the wake of such traumatic and tragic loss, there are no words. Nothing can be done or said to make it better. All that’s left is to pray for and support the surviving family members.

I cringe every time I see a family’s grief plastered all over the internet. Or when their children and their moment of greatest fear realized are used as a pawn in a political debate.

There is a time to scream your opinion from the mountaintop of social media. But it is not now.

In the immediate aftermath saying “our thoughts and prayers are with you” lets these families know they are not alone.

And that’s what’s important.

These families are in shock. Soon they will have to begin the long hard road of grief. They need our thoughts and prayers. They need our support. Not our political opinion.

Telling them “our thoughts and prayers are with you” is KIND. And it’s CARING.

True it won’t fix the problem. But that’s NOT THE POINT of this statement.

It’s to express sympathy. It’s to say I know you are hurting. It even says, “I hurt for you”.

This is why saying “our thoughts and prayers are with the families” is the ONLY public response that should be happening right now.