Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Dealing with Tragedy & Traumatic Events

Today, Ottawa has lost its innocence of being a city where nothing happens.

Upon arriving to work today, I hear of a shooting at the Canadian War Memorial.  Followed closely by another shooting outside the Peace Tower.

My first thoughts were with my spouse, my sister in law, and my brother in law, who all were downtown today for work and school.  My thoughts went there, and then to "What is going on in Ottawa?!"

There is nothing that can prepare us for a tragedy and traumatic event such as what we are experiencing today.






These are all emotions that we can expect to feel as these events unfold.  We are all glued to reports, radio & television, waiting to hear that it's over and that the shooters have been caught, or taken down.

These emotions are not something to be ashamed of, or something to hide.  These are normal feelings and taking time to acknowledge how you feel will help with the healing process.

Shock is another feeling that many will experience.  Ottawa is known as an otherwise sleepy, political city, and the thought "Things like this do not happen here" are being spoken repeatedly.  Shock symptoms can include:

  • Decrease in blood pressure
  • Rapid or weak pulse
  • Heart fluttering
  • Confusion
  • Cool, clammy skin
  • Rapid & shallow breathing
  • Anxiety
  • Lightheadedness

Be sure to alert someone if you are feeling any of these symptoms.

Many parents are posing the question "How do I explain this to my children?"  It's not going to be easy, and each parent will do this in their own way.  There is no "best way" to explain to your children that there was multiple shootings today, but with these tips, you may find your own way to explain:

  • Sit your child down in a spot where they are comfortable
  • Let them know that you & your family are safe
  • Allow your child/ren to ask questions when they need to
  • Stay clear of unnecessary details
  • Explain that it's okay to feel different emotions
  • Encourage them to talk to you when they are feeling something

We are all in this together, and leaning on each other in tough times is key.

There is something to be said on how a tragedy can bring a community closer together, and we can know that Ottawa bands together in this tragic time.

Please know that we are here for you 24/7, no matter what.

Call us. 613-238-3311

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