Lives lost and how it lives in us
Updated: Nov 28, 2022
As a psychologist, a woman of color, and other roles my identity carries, it is hard to feel connected in the wake of the race based shootings and the loss of tender lives of children. Some of the common reactions include disconnection, numbing, anger, grief, disappointment, shock and disbelief. Many of these feelings are akin to the stages of grief and this time it is a loss and grief to collective losses, to collective trauma. We barely grieve the losses from one mass shooting, and then there is a next in close succession. The cumulative impact of such close successions leaves us feeling depleted and not having the energy to process or take care of ourselves collectively. Grieving and collective trauma often calls for communal healing. I have been talking more to my colleagues and friends about my own reactions, my clientele can talk to me about the collective trauma, and there is mutual accountability about disconnecting from the media temporarily. If there is a support group nearby or you are able to make room for catching up with a friend or ally, please consider these communal resources. If there is a meditation or mindfulness practice that feels affirming, please seek that avenue out too. Collective grief calls for collective processing and support. You are not alone.