On Oct 13, 2010 the 33rd Chilean miner emerged from the mine that had entrapped him and his co-workers for 2 months into the arms of family, friends, the Chilean president, the nation and a billion viewers worldwide. Publicly it was a homecoming that the world wanted to embrace as proof of resiliency and success in the face of death defying challenge. Privately this homecoming was the answer to the prayer of every partner still waiting for someone in harm’s way.
What a billion people do not see and may not understand is that the homecoming of a partner who has been in danger, as in the case of these miners, and so many military returning from war is both a treasured event and a complex process.
One night in one of the many groups I have run, a member came in very distraught. Sitting down, she began crying and said “I hesitated sharing this, but I am so upset I have to speak about it – my twelve year old beautiful golden Lab, Star, named for our midnight walks, died this past weekend.”
Instantly the group responded with condolences, gentle questions, and concern. Then, one man tearfully said, “I need you to know something I have never told anyone. The day that my dog Caesar died, I rode around for hours with him on the back seat of my car. I couldn’t bear the thought of losing him; I didn’t know where to go or what to do.” From there the group began to share and bear witness to the loss of pets from as far back as early childhood- beloved companions, never forgotten.
There are 38.2 million cats and 45.6 million dogs as well as many other companion animals in the U.S. Statistics estimate that 62% of U.S. households own a pet which equates to 71.4 million homes. This reality equates to a great deal of joy as well as considerable pain and grief when a pet dies.
We know that bullies come in all sizes and can be found in many places – playgrounds, cafeterias, sports teams, college dorms, even workplaces. In the last ten years of advanced technology there is a new hiding place for a destructive and often lethal bully – cyber space.
What is Cyberbullying?
Cyberbullying is the use of internet or other digital devices as E-mail, instant messaging, text messages, social networking sites, web pages, blogs, chat rooms or interactive game sites to send negative and harmful messages and images. While the term “Cyberbullying” is technically used when the victim or bully in a minor, it is also applied to the cyber harassment of college students.