I’ve been thinking a lot about the horrific events on January 8th in Tucson, Arizona.  The senseless death of so many people, the injuries that will undoubtedly leave life-long scars, the madness that precipitated the shootings, the call for greater tolerance and sanity across the nation – all of it.

A shocking event such as this leaves many of us feeling angry, confused, sad, and powerless over much our life on Earth.  All of these responses are associated with grief; they are a natural human reaction to sudden death and loss.

While a nation morns around us, it is important to pay attention to our own individual feelings, thoughts, and emotions.  No one can grieve for us; we must do it for ourselves. Knowing that and really allowing it to happen are often two different things.  So here are four simple steps I am taking as part of my own grieving process:

  1. I am letting tears of sadness and compassion to come when they need to as I listen to some of the interviews with survivors.
  2. I ponder thoughtfully what, if anything, I can do about restoring sanity to our society by creating greater peace in my own life.
  3. I talk about my responses to this event with trusted others – people I know will listen and engage in conversation that is balanced.
  4. I pray and listen for comfort and reassurance from within

Is it helping? Yes, it is.  Through the years I have noticed that any step we take in allowing honest bereavement is healing.