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This Sandy Hook parent chose not to sue Alex Jones

Before Catherine died, she discovered equestrianism. I would watch from a short distance, as her coach told her, “Where you stare will be where you steer.” Hardly did I think the gentle instruction to her would serve as guidance for the path I have taken over the past 10 years.

Catherine was among the 26 lost in the Sandy Hook Tragedy. The country mourned alongside our town. A curiosity quickly emerged as to how we, the families who lost loved ones, would respond. There was a notion that because our loved ones were lost in the same tragedy, we would act collectively to see that this never again happened.

Our shared loss is sacred and will forever unite us. Our shared loss, though, does not imply a shared path forward.

As Sandy Hook again captured the attention of national media, many thought the lawsuit filed against the claims that this horrific tragedy never happened was a collective effort of all the families. It was not, nor are any of the other related lawsuits, nor the advocacy work, although both are essential approaches to correct violence and divisiveness in our country.

I choose instead to focus on Catherine’s life, creating a space that provides a glimpse of the light she gave the world.

Catherine’s dream was to be an animal caretaker. She was so passionate about this that she made her own business cards, which she handed out in kindergarten. Known for collecting “animal pals” around the backyard, Catherine would always release her pals with a parting whisper, “Tell all your friends I am kind.”

The 34-acre sanctuary in the heart of Newtown pays tribute to Catherine and her spirit of kindness toward all living things by honoring the bond between humans, animals and the environment. It is a safe haven and an important reminder that goodness and light can prevail.

Truth is, you do steer where you stare; I will keep my attention squarely focused on the belief that highlighting our capacity for compassion can help make the world be a kinder place.

Commentator Jenny Hubbard, who lost her 6-year-old daughter Catherine in the Sandy Hook tragedy, is the president of the Catherine Violet Hubbard Animal Sanctuary in Newtown, Connecticut.