The other day my students and I were playing SPARKLE, a spelling game I introduced to them a couple of months ago. For some reason, they loveee this game. And I really appreciate playing it with them and seeing them get enthusiastic about it, because it's educational and they practice lots of spelling with it and they eagerly anticipate the days when we play it. The object of the game is to be the last one standing when all the words have been spelled and all is said and done.
In the midst of playing SPARKLE, and waiting for the students to spell the word tornado, a little hand goes up in the air and seeks my attention.
"Yes, N. What do you need?"
"I just wanted to say that yesterday in Alabama there was a really, really bad tornado."
"Yeah, it's very, very, very sad because a lot of people lost their lives."
"I also just wanted to say that my grandmother died in that tornado."
Left speechless, after a minute or two and not knowing how to react properly, I said the first thing that came to my mind.
" Wow. I dont know what to say. I'm so, so, so, incredibly sorry......"
"...... Would you like a hug?"
And I put my arms around her and I give her a tight squeeze which she returned with a bigger squeeze.
"Yes. I feel better."
And so, as silly as it may sound, I wish I could reach out to the people in Alabama, in Japan, in New Zealand, in Haiti, in Syria, in Egypt, in Yemen, in Palestine, in any part of the world, high, low, where tragedy and misfortune has befallen, and just give them a huge hug. And tell them that I am so sorry for their pain and for their loss. And tell them that somehow, someway, everything is going to be okay.
And as Controlled Chaos said before, May God grant peace, mercy, strength, and guidance to all those that are suffering and enduring such difficult times.