We watched the nation grieve right in front of the camera’s lens following the Parkland massacre.
Horror at hearing of lives lost
Needing to know details
Crying as the reality sinks in
Powerlessness as parents and others couldn’t protect
Confusion at the bombardment of questions coming from so many
Resounding whys? Why me? Why didn’t someone prevent this? Why my child?
Survivor guilt…how am I alive and my sister, brother, friend, teacher is not?
Regrets of if only I did…If only I didn’t…
Triggers sparking anguish, despair and anger
Numbness can envelope you because its all too much to bear.
Avoidance patterns may emerge…I can’t go back to school, I’m afraid to go anywhere.
Reassurances that you are not alone given by the President. But these reassurances may feel empty as a false attempt at consoling.
While anger fosters students and the nation to rally together and fight for change, the bereaved families are left behind with broken hearts in the wake of this senseless tragedy. The families are having to cope with their loss and the reality that they will never see, or talk to, or hold their loved one again.
Once the lens of the camera goes elsewhere, the surviving family members face an uphill battle with their grief. These are not the stories seen in front of the cameras, because grief is isolating and an internal process and it doesn’t go away.
I know personally about the tragedy of mental illness and a senseless death. My nephew took his own life and left behind his wife, two small children and the rest of his family in the wake of his despairing choice.
As a psychotherapist and marriage and family therapist, I directed my grief into creating Melodee Roo & The Wantoks Too! Letters For Grieving Children Like You - an award-winning, online, at-home grief support program for children and their families. I know that many families don’t reach out for help, because it’s all they can do to simply get out of bed and try to function.
I wanted to bring help to children and families right in the comfort of home, so they can feel a sense of safety to address the difficult task of coping with their loss.
The nation and the bereaved families need help with healing, our laws need changing and everyone can benefit from learning to cope differently to curb the enormity of pain that permeates our culture.
Let’s each do our part to help each other and create change. I will donate Melodee Roo & The Wantoks Too! to the bereaved families in the Parkland shooting. Please share this information with others to spread the message of help and support.
Sharon Diaz LPC, LADC: Helping People. Changing Lives. Sharon is an author, a Licensed Professional Counselor, Licensed Alcohol & Drug Counselor and Marriage & Family Therapist in private practice in Shelton, Connecticut.