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Author: Leslie Kingsley

Leslie Kingsley is the Center’s Global Trauma Relief Coordinator. A mid-career changer, Leslie recently served 2 years overseas with the Peace Corps. Opinionated and politically engaged, she landed in Washington via Albania. She is keen on travel, newspapers, think-tank lectures, and engaging with people.


Newtown: Thick with Grief, Full of Spirit– and Even Joy

By Leslie Kingsley

In the bucolic community of Sandy Hook, the air hangs thick with grief and anxiety. I visited with Dr. James Gordon at the end of July, as CMBM’s new Global Trauma Relief Coordinator, seeing and talking to people who had been profoundly affected by the December 14th shootings at their elementary school. I had followed these events from afar, of course, but now I was actually listening to how people’s lives had changed, and realized that it’s not just the people who lost family and friends who are suffering. Everyone in the Newtown area, perhaps across the state, now sees life differently. Some heard the gunshots. Some saw children flee—and didn’t know why. Some saw the dead, and painfully realized they couldn’t restore life. Tragedy has visited others since then, but in the shadow of December 14, they grapple with it quietly. And how to celebrate? Babies are born; there are birthdays. I worried about being seen as an interloper.

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