Healing Stories: The Las Vegas Massacre…My heart deeply aches.
Coping with tragedy…
Disbelief. Rage. Anger. Hopelessness. Sadness. Grief.
As the word of the Las Vegas massacre reached the world the above emotions ran through almost every human being on earth.
Where do we begin? How do we process? Where do we direct our emotions to?
These are some of the questions that have flowed in daily to number one best-selling author, counselor, life coach and radio host David Essel. The answers for something so tragic are never easy.
Below David tries to offer some hope. Maybe some explanation into what we need to do now after another tragedy has hit our soil.
“My heart, aches deeply. Now. Still. I woke up in the morning to the worst news that I could ever imagine. After the hurricanes. After the earthquake in Mexico City. After the ethnic cleansing that has forced 400,000+ people into the country of Bangladesh who from all accounts is not equipped to deal with the Muslim population that is being persecuted beyond control by of all things a Buddhist nation. Reading about a mass killing in Las Vegas put me over-the-top.
I almost couldn’t catch my breath. Tears flowed. I honestly couldn’t stop crying for 15 minutes. I couldn’t shut it down. How? Why? What’s going on in this world?
I reached out to one of my best friends, James “Smitty” Smith. A Las Vegas resident who is one of the top radio and television boxing analysts in the world. I wanted to know if he was ok. Smitty and I have been friends for over 35 years and I could not imagine if something happened to him at this concert.
He got right back to me but his words I’ll never forget. These are words coming from a former boxer. A macho kind of a guy who also combines that tough guy image with a heart of gold. He told me he was shattered. He didn’t go into work. He couldn’t. The grief was way too heavy. I sat on the phone listening to him and tears were still streaming.
Then I thought of my friends DeBorah and Floyd Little. Melissa Roof. And so many others that live in Las Vegas. I reached out to all of them, holding my breath, praying and hoping that they are all ok. Thank God they were.
And then on my Facebook feed, something that still brings tears to me right now, I started reading about friends of mine that had lost a good friend to the sniper in Las Vegas. Another friend of mine whose daughter was there and got shot in the leg. I was overcome with grief.
I had no time for anger. Yet.
Overwhelmed. Numbness. Every client I worked with on that day was in the same mental and emotional state. Deflated. Absolutely numb .
Even those clients I work with over Skype from all over the world had the same emotional response. None of us were ready to be angry yet. There was so much work to be done in the world of emotions, Grief and sadness were at the top of the list.
So what do we do about this massacre? This tragedy? Regardless if we know someone who was personally affected by it or not?
As a counselor and life coach for the past 27 years I have helped people deal with all kinds of loss, grief, anger, rage, sadness. And we need to try to process the emotions beginning now.
Here are some thoughts, and I truly with my open, hurting heart, hope they may help you in the processing of tragedy .
Number One: Start to limit yourself from reading, listening to, and watching more and more information on this massacre . We need to take a break. Everyone. If you continue to follow every person’s comment, every congressman’s comment, every media personalities,…there is no healing to be done. This is pure fact. I work in the media, but I’m telling you people need to take a break from the onslaught of information.
Number Two: Quit posting on social media your opinion of what happened, why it happened, and how we need to change this world. I see so much anger, people directing anger at each other, the Democrats attacking the Republicans, the Republicans attacking Democrats, the atheist attacking the believers. Enough of the nonsense. Get the hell off social media if you’re going to make comments that you truly don’t know anything about. And as of right now we don’t have enough information for people to be getting angry at each other about such a tragic event. There is no benefit to this whatsoever. Stop it.
Number Three: Take the time to write about your emotions. If you’re grieving, write about your grief, what is the cause. If you’re angry, write about what you’re angry about. If you feel hopelessness, write about your hopelessness. Whatever you’re feeling get it out of your head, out of your heart, on to the paper. This is the first step to heal.
Number Four: Some of my clients are asking right now if there is a God, where was he? Where was she? How come she didn’t intervene and stop the killer? How could he let such a senseless tragedy occur? As an all faith minister these questions come to me even outside of tragedy. Find a professional, a minister, Rabbi, priest and work with them. Ask them these questions. Try to find some answers. They may, or may not, come right away but it’s our responsibility to look.
Number Five: If you come from a spiritual or religious background pray. Pray for those directly affected by this tragedy. Pray for yourself as you feel the depth of emotion of sadness, anger, rage and grief. Prayers do help bring people together, even people that may not know you’re praying for them. They work if you believe they do and if you don’t just skip this step.
Number Six: Donate. Time. Blood. Money. There are ways that you can actively become involved in this tragedy by going to your local blood bank. Or by becoming part of the solution. By following the above tips. By stopping your comments on social media and cutting back on how much time you spend watching, reading or listening to the news. Look in your community. Can you help any organization by volunteering? Think.
Number Seven: Ask for help. Reach out to a counselor, life coach, therapist if you’re still truly deeply struggling and ask for help. Don’t go this alone. This is the time to get guidance and ask someone to guide you through your grieving process.
I believe it’s too early to try to be looking for the “silver lining” in this massacre. I’ve read on social media people saying that “everything happens for a reason” and I think this is terrible advice right now. It’s premature. It’s way too early. I would never advise any of my clients, family or friends to start looking for the good in a massacre so close to the event having just happened. Don’t be foolish and wasting your time on this principle.
There will come a time down the road that you might want to explore the reason for this, the positive side of this equation, but I as a professional do not believe that we are anywhere near that time right now.
If you need help, reach out to me at www.davidessel.com, I want you to know you’re not alone. You are never alone.”