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Rules for grieving the trauma of Tucson

We grieve alongside those in Tucson.
We grieve alongside those in Tucson.
David Becker/Getty Images

They do not exist. As people across the country seek to chime in on how the people of Tucson mourn, we should realize we all mourn alongside that community. Each state contains multiple supermarkets. We wonder, could such tragedy hit our arena? Each public servant recognizes the level of anger which one individual could express. Could it be pointed their way at some point? We feel the sorrow at the sudden loss of people who did nothing more than gather and meet one another. It's shocking.

While the immediate families directly involved experience the tragedy of Tucson differently from those of us who observe, we all grieve. However, we do not all grieve in the same manner. Within our own families or cultures, we've experienced opposing ways of expressing our sorrow. Some people light candles, some tear their clothes, some laugh and get drunk, some wear black, some celebrate life, some hide in busy activity.

As the journey of grief continues within Tucson and many of the T.V. cameras depart, our families may experience loss too. Depending upon how exposed our children have been to the news coverage or conversations, they too experience a form of grief.

Compassion dictates a recognition of the process of others. Over time, psychologists have discovered five steps to the grieving process, whether one is personally involved or simply connected to a trauma. These happen progressively and not usually as fast as we think they should. They happen in various orders. You may notice as you read the list gives evidence of the grief process within commentators on the Tucson experience. Death is something we all have in common and all must deal with at some time.

The stages of grief:

  • denial and isolation
  • anger (a.k.a. blaming)
  • bargaining
  • depression
  • acceptance

These do not all happen in a specific order. We can accept loss and still go back to denial or anger at any time. As parents, when our children face struggles of grief, we can encourage them with scriptures which help us to know the faithfulness of God at every point in our life.

Psalm 9:9, "The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble."

We can also encourage them that Jesus has overcome the very power of death. He is stronger than the gunman, He is stronger than the pain of the moment.

1 Corinthians 15:55-57, "Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting? The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is in the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."

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