Driving home with my child in the back seat, I learned something terrible had happened in Boston. I choose not to tune into local new stations due to graphic content, but I did pull my car over and checked the news on my Iphone. What I read was horrifying; critical wounds, dismemberment, and death in an instant after two bombs exploded in a heavily crowded area near the end of the Boston Marathon.
What does one do in the face of such horror?
First of all, if you find yourself deeply upset by this event, do not turn on the news coverage today. You already know what happened; and right now, no one knows any more. The details will come out eventually, but be patient and stop seeking news, and, by all means, do not look at the photos. They will only upset you more.
Secondly, know that while there was great horror and tragedy, there were also great heroics. Many people rushed towards the chaos to help victims. People who were spectators became engaged, ripping off their own clothing to make tourniquets for the wounded. In the midst of unthinkable pain and agony there was also amazing love, kindness, compassion, and bravery – things which we are so thankful for in our fellow Americans.
Third, hug your loved ones. Forget the worries of the day, the bad traffic, the parking ticket, the late fee, the spilled drink, or stain on the new carpet. It all pales in light of today’s tragedy. Let’s focus on our loved ones, hold them tight, and be thankful we are together.
There are many more ways to deal with trauma, and for more information, contact your counselor, spiritual adviser, the Red Cross, NAMI, or your local physician.
The Red Cross: http://www.redcross.org/find-help/disaster-recovery/recovering-emotionally
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs: http://www.ptsd.va.gov/public/index.asp