While the investigations continue into the hows and whys of the Boston Marathon bombing, those directly affected by the event are dealing with the emotional impact of the deaths of and injuries to loved ones. The rest of us, though not harmed physically, or by personal connection to the victims, are nonetheless emotionally wounded by this latest tragedy to occur in our backyard.
Many of us struggle with the horrifying images burned into our consciousness by the relentless TV coverage of that day, and since. It’s nearly impossible to eliminate those images from our memory bank. With them come the fear built into the obvious conclusion that something horrible could happen to any of us, or to people we love. As a result, we are all left with compound losses of safety, trust, and control.
The Boston Marathon Bombing Reminds Us of Our Past Losses
I appeared on CNN in the week after President Reagan died. Just before we went on the air, Anderson Cooper asked me over the headset if there was anything in particular I wanted to talk about. I said ,“Yes, I’d like to talk about the fact that many people will be thinking about people from their own lives who died recently or even a long time ago, and about divorces and other sad events.”
After a brief pause, Cooper asked, “Is that why ever since President Reagan died, I am constantly thinking about my father who died and my brother who died?” I said, “Yes.” And he said, “Do you mind if we open with that?” The interview was devoted to the emotional byproduct of a major event like the Boston Marathon bombing, brings loss and grief up to the surfaces of our hearts and minds. If that has happened for you, and if you were concerned about it, please let it be okay.
How to Deal with your Emotions
Rather than hide your thoughts and feelings, we think it is far better to share them with people you trust. Like Anderson Cooper, you may be surprised to learn that people you know have had similar responses, and that they welcome the opportunity to talk about the people from their past and about the emotions attached to them.
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