Most of my TV watching takes place while I am at the gym and today I was ‘moved’ as I was moving on the elliptical by something that was laid out before me on the screen. Scarlett Lewis was speaking about the unspeakable: the murder of her young son in the Sandy Hook massacre in Newtown, Connecticut that took place a year and two days ago. It shook the world and the reverberations continue; this time in a positive way. When Jesse was killed, Scarlett knew she had a choice. It was one faced by so many who have lost loved ones in senseless acts of violence…she could be embroiled in anger, resentment and fear or she could love and become a resilient thriver and make a difference in Jesse’s name. She picked the second and thus was born The Jesse Lewis Choose Love Foundation.
She shares poignantly:
“Before my 6-year-old son Jesse Lewis lost his life at Sandy Hook School on December 14, 2012, he had written a message on our kitchen chalkboard: Nurturing Healing Love. The words “nurturing” and “healing” are a part of the definition of compassion across almost all cultures. Love is the foundation on which happy and healthy lives are built.”
As I listened to this bereaved mother tell the story of that cryptic message that is not in the paradigm of most 6 year olds, I agreed with her that perhaps on some level, this young man was really an old soul who may have had an inkling that something was stirring. He is also credited with alerting some of his classmates who were able to flee after he yelled for them to run away when the gunman came in. He saved their lives.
She has taken on a monumental task that is a true labor of love as the foundation reaches out to heal all manner of worldly wounds. Her book is called Nurturing Healing Love: A Mother’s Journey of Hope and Forgiveness. She chose to forgive rather than condemn since she knew it would only poison her and it was from that decision that her new life began and love prevails.
Imagine a world in which people chose words of love and reconciliation over anger and fear. May Jesse’s sweetness continue to spread the light. “Choose one loving thought over one angry thought today,” is one of their pieces of advice.