Newtown Funeral: 'How Can I Celebrate Christmas?'

Family, friends and residents attend a funeral for Jessica Rekos, one of the young shooting victims.


Shuffling down the Church Hill Road Tuesday morning, Rose Pavia joined hundreds of mourners making their way to the funeral of six-year-old Jessica Rekos, one of 20 children killed in Friday's Sandy Hook shooting.

Pavia, like countless others, struggled to find the proper adjectives to describe the loss—and instead asked a question.

"How can I celebrate Christmas?" Pavia said through tears. "There are no words."

A Sandy Hook resident, Pavia has three grandchildren, all young boys, in the local school district. She says today, as schools open their doors for the first time since last week's massacre, she is apprehensive.

After sounding off, Pavia turned and continued to through the dreary weather to St. Rose of Lima Church, joining the friends, family and neighbors of Jessica Rekos to pay their respects.

pa December 18, 2012 at 06:33 PM
My husband and I are not celebrating, not this year.
Fairfield native December 18, 2012 at 08:50 PM
I don't really feel like celebrating either- but I heard something this morning on 99.9 this morning. The only way to destroy darkness is with light. It has made me think.
M Smith December 18, 2012 at 10:24 PM
Christmas is really about celebrating the birth of christ, not present giving or receiving. So, even though i'm very sad about Newtown, I will still celebrate the birth of my lord savior.
Michael Shea December 19, 2012 at 01:45 AM
Right - especially in the face of manifest evil - the birth of Christ is really the only hope. Celebrate by reading the first few chapters of the book of John about a hundred times.
Big Boy December 19, 2012 at 11:12 AM
Don Carten December 19, 2012 at 02:50 PM
When we allow evil to alter our way of life, then that evil wins. I will take a moment, early on Christmas morning before the children awake, to stand quietly in front of my tree and remember each of the twenty young children who will not be opening their presents on this morning. I will try my best to rid myself of the anger and sadness that I feel and then I will proceed to celebrate the birth of our Lord as I always would. In this way I will stand up to evil and defy it.
LeAnne Sheldon December 19, 2012 at 03:13 PM
Took the words right out of my mouth. Thanks.
Dee Cavalli-Tutka December 19, 2012 at 06:08 PM
As a parent who has lost a chlld, this is how most bereaved parents feel about celebrating Christmas. Hope it helps.: We want YOU to celebrate. We want YOU to embrace the miracle of Christmas and celebrate the birth of our savior. We want YOU to hold and love your tender children closley. We want YOU to fill your home with the spirit of family gone before you. YOU MUST live for us at Christmas. You must pray together and eat together, You must cherish every moment with your children and loved ones. Talk about our children, remember our children and pray to our children. The best GIFT you can give to a bereaved parent is to remember our children even if it makes you cry. We will never forget our children. We want to know that YOU remember them. And the best way to do that is to continue to enjoy this most holy season but perhaps this year try a little harder to give freely of yourselves with random acts of kindness and see the world through the eyes of a child. If only for a moment or two. That is the real meaning of Christmas. We dont want YOU to miss a sngle moment with your child. (ren) So please, stay strong in your faith. We are never promised another day.
K M December 19, 2012 at 10:24 PM
Thank you for this. We were struggling with what to do. I have two young children and want them to still experience the happiness and celebrate the birth of our Lord. I appreciate what you wrote.
K M December 19, 2012 at 10:28 PM
Thank you for this. We were struggling with what to do. I have two young children and want them to still experience the happiness and celebrate the birth of our Lord. It means a lot coming from a parent who as lost a child. I was worried about being disrespectful to the victims by celebrating. You have made me look at it through different eyes. Thank you.
carolanne curry December 19, 2012 at 10:41 PM
Dee Cavelli-Tutka You have provided a gift to all if us with your words. And for that my thanks.
pa December 19, 2012 at 11:48 PM
Please dont misunderstand me....the reason for the season has always been about the birth of Christ with us. In fact, it will be something that we will turn to more throughout this season. I just meant that the frivolity, parties and gifts seems trite to us, and disrespectful. Fairfield Native.....I do like that approach, and its so true. May we all find our way......
Fairfield native December 19, 2012 at 11:51 PM
What a gift you have given us with your words and insight. I am so sorry for your loss.
Dee Cavalli-Tutka December 20, 2012 at 02:01 AM
Thank you friends. Im only three years into my own journey of grief but I like to think that my daughter is with God, maybe singing with his choir of angels. Merry Christmas. xo


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