I have been shielding myself from TV news for days now. While I’ve read several stories and talked with friends and family about Friday’s travesty in Sandy Hook, I cannot bring myself to watch the footage, to hear the interviews, to process the facts (and the fiction). I just am not strong enough. I have wept so many tears these past few days – with such deep sorrow for the mamas and papas and siblings, with such deep gratitude for every precious moment with my own littles, with such admiration for the human spirit because I know – somehow, someway – we will all heal from this and be changed by this. Even the families left behind will find a way to carry on someday. The way shattered hearts can heal never ceases to amaze me.

I have been at a loss for words, except for the ones above, which came pouring out on Friday. I scribbled them on my paper and within a few minutes of posting them on the Facebook page, they’d already been shared so many times, which touched me deeply, knowing that those words brought others comfort, too.  And I am certainly not alone. My spirits have been lifted by the art I’ve seen emerging from the wreckage; stunning and soulful. We artists know no other way to deal with tragedy like this than to create – paintings and poems, songs and sculptures . Here are some of the works of art I’ve seen that have stirred my soul and added light to the darkness:

Beautiful painting featuring 26 floating hearts, by massage therapist Wendy Sullivan (aka Wind Gypsy), owner of CowGirlz Spa in Oklahoma.

Posted by artist Mary Engelbreit on Friday with the words, “Pray. Even if you never pray or have given up praying, say a prayer today.”

 Graffiti artists in North Philadelphia painted a tribute to the victims of Sandy Hook.

 Art by children’s illustrator Nancy Carlson, depicting how I think we all feel.

I am uplifted, too, by the ongoing efforts to use art to heal and spread hope. The Newtown PTA has requested that people make and send paper snowflakes to Sandy Hook so that the school can be filled with them upon students’ return, representing so much love sent from all around the world. And next Saturday, the Children’s Book Illustrators Guild of Minnesota will host this event, in hopes hundreds of kids will come create art to be sent to the kids at Sandy Hook. 

I share this art with one mission in mind: to remind us all that when everything goes wrong, the goodness each of us creates matters and can pave a path to healing.