Crushed by guilt because they survived

Posted by on Dec 17, 2012 at 8:28 am

Some things are worse even than death.

Living.

Surviving when so many others had to die.

An avalanche of soul-crushing guilt has seized those who were inside Sandy Hook Elementary School during Friday’s massacre. The ones who did not die.

They’re suffering unimaginable pain.

Little kids too young to truly understand the meaning of death, and their families, are learning about a dreadful scourge even grown-ups should never know.

Survivors’ guilt.

Teacher Victoria Soto heroically gave her life while shielding first-graders with her own body from the bullets fired by depraved assassin Adam Lanza.

Those lucky enough to escape don’t feel very lucky.

One is a child of 7 who was spared, thanks to the brave and beautiful teacher who gave her life without hesitating.

“She took a bullet for the child,’’ said Pastor Jim Solomon of New Hope Community Church in Newtown.

Soto’s great feat of love saved the child. It did not save the youngster, barely out of babyhood, from the crushing sorrow that followed.

“This 7-year-old is so traumatized,’’ the child can barely speak, said Solomon.

“She is dead,’’ he said simply. “The child is alive.’’

In two harrowing days, Solomon, a wise and cheerful preacher, had his counsel sought by a great number of guilt-ridden families.

“In just this weekend, a dozen of them’’ have come to see him.

“They keep asking, ‘Why were these children spared while so many others died?’ ” Solomon told me.

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