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Old 02-20-2018, 07:22 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
16,845 posts, read 51,301,408 times
Reputation: 27668

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I may regret starting this thread, and this is a rough assignment, but I have great expectations of the members in this forum.

The combined wisdom of those of us who have experienced losses that have upended our lives may give us insight that others seek.

Periodically, the news media presents a reporting of situations that result in mass casualties. Those who remain are left to try to make sense, try to help others, try to understand.

I ask in this thread that ONLY those who have experienced the loss of a mate, a close parent, or a child offer the wisdom of living with and through grief.

This thread is NOT about violence, whether by gun or other means. This is NOT about attempts at changing society. This is NOT about promoting any group response supporting those who have lost loved ones.

What I am asking of this caring and compassionate group is "What PERSONAL advice can you offer to those individuals who have lost a loved one (or more) in a mass casualty situation, be it earthquake, flood, terrorism, gun violence, avalanche, or other situation where the vultures of the media descend and try to take over?"

To further clarify, imagine that you, as someone who has lost a dear one, have been asked to give words of wisdom to someone who has lost their dear one in an event where many others were lost, and there is an intense distraction by those who would seek to make money off of it or politicize it.

ANY attempt to politicize this thread or pervert it to other intent will be met with extreme response, including time outs, infractions, and even banning. Do NOT bring gun control, politics, or culture into this thread. If you are thinking of gun violence - stop. Imagine instead a building collapse and your caring and compassionate response to those who have suffered loss because of that. Advice on how to respond to media will be appreciated.
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Old 02-20-2018, 10:35 PM
 
7,031 posts, read 3,747,193 times
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There is no "personal advice" you can give to someone going through this situation.

All you can do is be there and listen.

And that means being there - and listening - long after "the media" has moved on to the next story.
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Old 02-21-2018, 12:09 AM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic
22,706 posts, read 21,750,727 times
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There are no words of wisdom. There are only reactions.

I've never had family all drop at once, but have lost three friends (husband's friends) in one week.

I can see their face,-- heard their voice, knew their laugh. They're gone.

I Will Remember You.
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Old 02-21-2018, 06:20 AM
 
1,094 posts, read 763,402 times
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I have lost a child, but not through violence. I can't begin to imagine what these parents. students, teachers and spouses are going through. Anytime something like this happens, I go back to my own grief and honestly can't comprehend how many emotions these people have to deal with. I've cried because I hurt for them. If I were close to anyone in this situation, I would go and cook, clean, hug and listen and do whatever they needed done. Some people categorize grief as being universal, but it's not. Try to put yourself in their shoes and be the person you'd want someone to be if it was you.
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Old 02-21-2018, 08:30 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
16,845 posts, read 51,301,408 times
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I recognize that the wording in my initial post is strong, but I cannot think of any other way to break away the real grief and suffering of survivors, so that focus can be on that only, instead of "response" or "reaction," which can be a diversion. My concern is that the grief for the individual gets hidden in anger/shock/outrage in such situations, to the point that healing doesn't occur.

I have difficulty trying to sort out all of the different emotions I might feel if I had to deal with a loss or losses in a mass casualty.
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Old 02-21-2018, 09:29 AM
 
9,268 posts, read 7,289,484 times
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The free press and media has nothing to do with the grieving process. Also grief is grief regardless of the cause of death.
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Old 02-21-2018, 10:03 AM
 
7,031 posts, read 3,747,193 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post
I recognize that the wording in my initial post is strong, but I cannot think of any other way to break away the real grief and suffering of survivors, so that focus can be on that only, instead of "response" or "reaction," which can be a diversion. My concern is that the grief for the individual gets hidden in anger/shock/outrage in such situations, to the point that healing doesn't occur.

I have difficulty trying to sort out all of the different emotions I might feel if I had to deal with a loss or losses in a mass casualty.

There is no way to prepare for the death of a loved one, especially a sudden death. Everyone's grieving process will be different, and will proceed at its own individual pace. I have friends whose daughter was murdered in a high profile triple murder; they went through the same wide range of intense emotions that anyone losing a beloved child goes through. The public reaction to the murders and the press coverage did not keep the family from their own private grieving process.

Parents who lose their children from cancer, accidents, or suicide suffer no less than those who lose a child through mass murder. The circumstances and individual reactions may differ, but the grieving process will still occur; it is inevitable. But, every person's journey through grief will be different -- there is no way to predict how you (or anyone else) might walk through that journey. And, I will add that there is no right or wrong way to go through the grieving process; it is each person's path to walk as best they can and no two people will grieve in exactly the same way.

If you are interested in learning more about grief and how to help people who are grieving (or yourself when dealing with grief) there are many good books available. In particular, the classic On Grief and Grieving by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross is helpful for those seeking to understand some of the emotions that family, friends and acquaintances may go through when they are grieving.
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Old 02-21-2018, 10:13 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
16,845 posts, read 51,301,408 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charlygal View Post
The free press and media has nothing to do with the grieving process. Also grief is grief regardless of the cause of death.
I wish I were more sure of that. I guess that many people can simply dismiss the coverage, not watch, read, or listen to it, and in general avoid the drama. Others may not be easily able to, and the coverage and follow-ups could feel like picking at a scab or an intrusion of privacy. I guess I'm thinking more along the lines that media and outside public participation in any analysis or debate interfere with the grieving process.

Would you counsel the grieving to stay away from media? Is there a way that public needs and desires can be balanced against the needs of the individuals? It almost seems that fleeing the scene for a month or more might be an option, even though it could be ungrounding. What would you do in such a situation? I have no consistent idea of how I might handle it.
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Old 02-21-2018, 03:54 PM
 
7,031 posts, read 3,747,193 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post
What would you do in such a situation? I have no consistent idea of how I might handle it.
The odds of having a loved one die in a mass shooting are extremely low when compared to the risks of dying from other causes.

If you should ever have the misfortune to find yourself in this situation, you will do the best you can.

That is all anyone dealing with a major loss can do.

Minute by minute, day by day, you do the best you can.

(P.S., If you're finding yourself consumed with worry about this, perhaps you might find a few sessions with a professional to discuss your anxieties helpful. )

Last edited by RosieSD; 02-21-2018 at 04:05 PM..
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Old 02-22-2018, 08:29 AM
 
Location: SWFL
21,432 posts, read 18,144,759 times
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The OP doesn't seem to have anything relative to anyone here so I think the OP is irrelevant. If a person who lost a loved one, they will ask the questions and seek comfort.
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