One of our necessary beliefs is that children are safe in school with …

10 Comments to
Connecticut Catastrophe: How Do You Face The Loss of Children?

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  1. It’s true – there are no words. But there are prayers from around the world for the families and the people of the USA. From our home to yours, may the prayers of the world surround you like a comforting blanket.

  2. I agree, there are no words that can be said that will help in those moments of deep despair. What I worry about more is when all the news agencies are gone, when people drift off and are not visiting the town anymore to leave their condolences, when these families are left to their own to try to find their way in their world that has been shattered beyond belief, who will be there to hug them, to talk with them, to be a shoulder for their tears and their words? When reality sets in and the world has quietly gone away, what then?

    • Jean: I always say in outreach and trauma work – when the smoke clears and the media goes home – that is when we need to step up – I agree with you. There is no set timeline on dealing with loss and all along the way loving connections and continued support are gifts – Thanks, Suzanne

  3. As both a Psychologist and one who lost our 15 year old to a car accident a few years ago, I can attest that the author couldn’t be more accurate. There are no words. I still find myself breathless when the reality dawns on me yet again. I deeply hope that each of those familys affected have a strong and loving support system (family, community, church family) that they can lean on and allow themselves to be engulfed in their love. That is the only thing that saved us. The children grieve so differently than us adults, And grief is so very isolating and personal, it is hard for couples to completely share this with each other… and at a time when you want to support each other, you find you have almost nothing left to give. You never finish grieving the loss of your child, but you will very slowly gradually learn to live again and be there for your other children and move forward. Lord, comfort them.

    • Tim: Special thanks for your moving and personal comment. It beautifully adds to this discussion of facing the unspeakable loss of a child.You so well capture the exhaustion and depletion as well as the need to use the support systems to go on. A dear friend of mine echoes your sentiments when he tells me – there is no closure – there is going on with love and support in a way that makes life possible again. Suzanne

  4. we lost a son/stepson; in the first week, all I did was race to do all that had to be done… and then when I got back to work, I was wiped out. I was grateful for people with whom I worked who came to the wake and simply spent time with the grandparents; I was grateful for a friend who said little but brought a casserole; later I was grateful for people who would listen to me recount the pieces of the story. As Tim says, you don’t finish, there isn’t “closure” – but the edges wear down – the way old pebbles in a stream become smooth. Grief changes form, it becomes less acute.

    And for another perspective – look at my partner and other son/stepson — the younger brother. Over the next year, they worked together to restore a boat that the lost child /lost brother had begun. They didn’t talk about it the way I did – but they “processed’ it by actively finishing this project. Again, this wasn’t closure, but a start on dealing with grief.

    • “oldblackdog”, that was beautifully put. The edges wear down, and the way old pebbles in a stream become smooth.

      There are No Words and No Answers.
      Intertwined amongst the grief of Newtown will be a deep rage. Some will feel it more than others, and for at least a few, thay may be all they feel for a long time. This was so senseless that closure and any forgiveness will be hard to find within oneself. But unresolved anger in any form make grief so much harder to work through. To each their own, but for me and my family, I really don’t know how we would have gotten through it without a Faith. I had to learn and try practicing forgiveness until it was real in me.

      • Tim: Thank you for adding this piece to our discussion.I really appreciate your sharing that moving on – including getting past the rough feelings – the rage the outrage – takes time – We just don’t want it to take more than the loss has already taken from people’s lives – Thanks for sharing – Suzanne

    • oldblack dog: I thank you for your comment and I am sorry for your loss. You send an important message that conveys the work of grieving and the restorative value of connections – I am so moved by the image of your partner and other son working together on the boat. It is restorative on so many levels. Everyone, as you suggest, finds a way to bear witness in their own way – Special thanks, Suzanne

  5. YES HUGGING YOUR CHILDREN,PRAYER AND THE SUPPOERT OF FAMILY AND FRIENDS ARE IMPORTANT, BUT WHAT IS ALSO IMPORTANT IS TO BECOME POLITICALLY ACTIVE. WE NEED TO PUT PRESSURE ON OUR POLITIIANS TO LEGSISLATE FOR REAL GUN CONTROL,THE BANNING OF ASSAULOT WEAPONS, THE NEED FOR BACKGROUND CHECKS AND THE LICENSING OF ALL GUNS AMONG OTHERS.
    ALLAN

  6. Thanks for the power and pain in your cartoon – finding a way to express needs missed and anguish felt is an important and in your case demonstrated message- Thanks, Suzanne

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Suzanne Phillips, Psy.D., ABPP & Dianne Kane, DSW are the authors of Healing Together: A Couple's Guide to Coping with Trauma and Post-Traumatic Stress. Pick up the book today!

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