I have been in tears many times since Valentine’s Day, watching yet another school and community be shattered by gunshots. I made the mistake of watching the footage from inside the classrooms…it wasn’t the visuals that tore at me, it was the sounds – the gunshots, the screams – that level of human terror and anguish sticks in you.
(Image at left: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
It usually takes me a while to compose myself to write something coherent after a shooting – how casually we now toss that phrase into our national conversation – most of my reaction goes into Facebook frustrations, comforting immediate clients who are upset and holding my family.
But here is what my current thoughts are as a Grief Coach.
Telling folks that “now is not the time” is just like telling people what not to do and feel after a loss. And it is cruel and destructive. Those kids and those families will not accept that, nor should they, nor should any of us.
Mere hours after watching their friends shot to death, some of these amazing young people have gone on national television to feel and express and rage, and I say, Good For Them. They are planning marches and campaigns and activism that is deeply inspiring. Someday, some of them will become journalists, first responders and run for office because of what they just experienced. Turning tragedy into triumph. It is a privilege to behold.
People often ask me how to honor their loved ones who have passed. It is always about creating something and taking action. Help someone who needs it, support an organization they believed in, plant something, create something that did not exist before. These young ones are doing exactly that and I am immensely proud of what I see being planted. They will do much more than plant a tree – they will change the world. And it will not only help them heal – they might very well help heal our nation. Bravo.
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