Nashville, it’s been several weeks since the Covenant School tragedy. Our hearts are still raw, perhaps now more than later. The numb of shock gives way to the ache of grief. The sadness folds back on itself, often manifesting as anger. Whatever you are feeling, you are normal. You are having normal feelings in response to an abnormal event.
These are the times when the news cameras (and seemingly life itself) moves on, but we cannot possibly move on as fast as a news cycle, nor should we. This community has not healed, and we cannot abandon each other now. We need to pay close attention to our own mental health and each other. How are YOU? What is going on for you, in the wake of this event? Do you need someone to talk to?
What has happened should not have happened. Regardless of where you stand politically, this is an abnormal event and could have been prevented.
That said, though, a crisis usually necessitates change, and that change is either for the better or worse, which often a function of how we cope, as well as available resources. Those resources can be internal or external. Examples of internal resources are faith, prayer, resilience, self care. External resources are friends, family, counselors, community.
For example, as I wrote this, we were preparing to wear our red shirts and participate in the safertn.org's human chain connecting Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt (where victims of The Covenant School shooting were taken on March 27) to the Tennessee State Capitol. Along with several thousand other people, we linked arms with our beloved Holy Trinity Montessori School kids, parents and teachers. Pastor Chris and I were on the campus at HTM the day after the shootings, along with a play therapist. That night, we had a few parents from HTM come to the church in response to our invitation to a support group.
We are a community. We care for each other. We check on each other. We show up for each other.
On behalf of Tapestries, our outreach to you is this: ask yourself how you are and what you need; ask your friends and family how they’re doing and what they need. Check in on those you love and those who lived through this. We need each other. Are you sleeping, eating, able to concentrate? Whether the answer is yes or no, you’re normal. As Victor Frankl said “An abnormal reaction to an abnormal situation is normal behavior”. What changes do you need to make in your life, in light of what has happened?
If you need someone to talk to, our community has many resources. Let me know how you are. Ingram.firstname.lastname@example.org.
We cannot fix what has happened, but we can all help each other through. Stay healthy and connected.