Sandy Hook Mom Chooses Love Over Anger
** OGTV recognizes Global Forgiveness Day with this story of how a parent is striving to overcome the worst nightmare possible - the death of their child. **
How can you fill the space left by a person who is stolen from your life? It can seem an impossible task.
For Scarlett Lewis, "impossible" didn't even begin to cover it. Scarlett's son Jesse Lewis was murdered in the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, when he was just six years old. At first, Scarlett says, she was plagued by two questions:
How could something like this have happened? and What can I do to personally make sure that it doesn't happen again?
In the years since, Scarlett has attempted to answer those questions, and in the course of doing so, she discovered an outlet for her pain, one that will hopefully help relieve sorrow in others as well.
As to the question of how, Scarlett said: "I felt like the whole tragedy started with an angry thought in the shooter's head." And so for the question of what she could do to prevent a future tragedy, what she said next is key: "The amazing thing about that is that an angry thought can be changed."
To honor her son—and, secondarily, to keep herself busy, distracted, and productive—Scarlett decided to start an organization dedicated to supplanting anger with love. That's how the Jesse Lewis Choose Love Foundation was born. The mission of the foundation is to spread awareness of the healing power of positive feelings like love, compassion, and forgiveness, and to ultimately create a more peaceful world.
Scarlett encourages us all to choose love by being grateful, through forgiveness, and by being compassionate and helping others. She has combined her ideas and her journal entries from the six months following Jesse's death into a book, called Nurturing Healing Love: A Mother's Journey of Hope & Forgiveness, which you can look at and purchase here.
This book shares her story of hope, forgiveness, and resilience as well as ideas for promoting love over anger.
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