I cannot begin to explain my sadness and hurt after hearing about the tragedy in Orlando. I remember waking up on a Sunday morning, and thinking, “I cannot believe yet another senseless act and yet another global tragedy.” After all the worldwide tragedies this year, I felt as though our world was falling apart. I could not wrap my head around the thought that innocent people are losing their lives and that in reality it could have been any of us at the bar that day.
Grieving is an inevitable life experience that each person will go through at several different times throughout their life. Although it may seem that some of us may have not been directly affected, we can still feel a number of different losses associated with the shooting. When we grieve, we grieve not only the tragic situation but also feel many forms of loss that come with it. Focusing on the Orlando shooting, we can expect that many people will feel a loss of safety, trust, and comfort. Similar to the shooting in the movie theater a few years ago, people were more hesitant to go see the movies, at least I was. I felt as though no matter what I was doing, I was never safe. Feeling unsafe in your community is a huge loss and terrible feeling.
First, for those people that are a part of the LGBTQ community it may seem that some were not directly involved, but this still hits home. As a society we have matured with our support towards the LGBTQ community and continue to encourage support. We are beginning to reach a place where we are transitioning, and accepting everyone regardless of their sexuality; then it seems that all of a sudden we have to feel like it “shot” down everything humanity has worked towards. For some, it may already be difficult to express their sexuality, and now after this tragedy in Orlando, it may be even more difficult.
Secondly, many people may feel like there needs to be stricter laws on gun control. After the movie theater shooting, Sandy Hook shooting and all the other mass murders that have happened across the world we may begin to feel unsafe in our communities. We might hear “How many more innocent lives have to be taken before appropriate laws are in effect?” People may not feel safe walking outside of their homes or traveling other countries. Some people may experience conflicting feelings, as they feel that their community is safe but at the same time feel as though they have to be cautious with what they are doing. Losing trust is one of the hardest things to lose. After all the tragedies, we may feel as though we cannot trust those around us. We may feel as though we have to “watch our backs”. Forms of loss such as loss of comfort, safety and trust could be experienced by all of us.
Although we may not all seem directly affected, this does affect us all as an individual, community, nation and a world. It is an unexplainable event, and my heart goes out to anyone affected by the Orlando shooting.
This article was written Gina Baretta, Certified Grief Recovery Specialist®, of The Grief & Trauma Healing Centre. Visit www.healmyheart.ca for information about our grief counselling services and Grief Recovery Method® Programs.
Photo credit: wptv.com (http://media2.wptv.com/photo/2016/06/20/wptv-orlando-shooting-vigil-6-19-16-2_1466411180585_40703617_ver1.0_640_480.jpg)