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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Shock, mourning and healing

      Elizabeth Kubler-Ross many years ago identified the 5 stages of loss and grief for individuals in her groundbreaking book "On Death and Dying."  I was fortunate to hear her in a 1 day seminar at the hospital where I was working.  She identified the stages as denial, anger, bargaining, depression and finally acceptance.  This same process can also apply to organizations, communities and even countries.  Think of this Country after the JFK assassination or 9/11.

    This thought of a healing process for our community occurred to me as I visited the Columbia Mall yesterday, with many others, at it reopened at 1 pm.

    Our community will be slowly moving from the denial and disbelief that something like this can happen in Columbia to the point of accepting the fact that our model, planned community can't prevent the deadly consequences that get played out in many of our towns and cities on a daily basis.  You can plan and work to establish a community that has many strong positive attributes but nothing can prevent a violent act when one troubled person can gain possession of a weapon and a desire to directly inflict pain on others.  It is troubling to recognize that this act, like many other acts, seems to have the common element of being a young man with mental health issues that never get addressed in a way that prevents the violent act.

   My hope for our community is that this act of violence will have the positive outcome of being the catalyst for discussions and actions that make us better able to recognize and address the mental health needs of persons in our community.  That might be the best memorial to the lives of the 3 young persons who died on Saturday.



1 comment:

Lady L said...

Non-Flash-Mob for the Fourth

Another thoughtful and heroic action to honor the victims and reduce violence in our Howard County community would be to use our “bombs-bursting-in-air” fireworks budget this year to make an evening of quiet reflection and family time with our children, teens, and young adults, opening our public spaces to their locally-made music, dance and arts on the Fourth of July. We could use the funds we save to create a multi-disciplinary task-group creating a program which addresses the cultural gap in nutrition, education, neurological development and attitudes that has 40% of white males and 50% of young men of color arrested before age 21. As one of the best places to live in America, we could start the “Non-Flash-Mob for the Fourth," a wave that could move through our state and the nation.