March 16, 3:56 p.m. I posted on Facebook,
“Feeling grateful. Just returned from Aurora Town Center, having spent about 45 minutes on the floor behind the counter at JC Penney. People frantically running for the exits and screaming, after three young men fired a gun in the food court. As the three men fled the store right past the counter I was at, I watched as several young women and a disabled woman huddled around me broke down in hysteria, as calls were being made to 911. Security and police surrounded the mall and locked it down until we were finally cleared to leave. I was texting Wayne from behind the counter, assuring him that I was ok and calm. When I got home he put his arms around me and said, “Here’s a ‘You-survived-the-shooting hug.'” Yes, indeed.”
I waited until now to write to you about this, because I needed to process this traumatic event. I will be processing this the rest of my life, for it profoundly impacted my focus and my purpose in my own life.
The responses from friends and acquaintances on Facebook were powerful and touching. I appreciate the outpouring of concern for me and am grateful to be alive. Clearly we all share a deep concern for the gun violence in our country. The March for Our Lives held throughout our nation yesterday speaks to our increasing awareness and willingness to make changes.
Beyond the issue of gun control, I was feeling something much deeper. While driving home from the mall, I kept thinking “We must heal the children, we must heal the children…” Even the shooters were under 21. Our children are experiencing an unprecedented exposure to terror and trauma.
I shared this in the on-going Facebook thread, and one woman asked, “So how do we heal the children when there is so much blame and division?” To which I responded, “We cultivate unity and empathy.”
I believe this thoughtful and comprehensive response, shared by Karen Lee Peterson, begins to address the complexity we face to “heal the children”.
“Wrapped in Divine Light & the Love of God.” & “We continue to cultivate unity & empathy”. And we keep a strong look out for those who don’t have a clue what this means. And, we become very proactive about gun control. Thank you for sharing, Susie. I’m so glad you & all are OK. ?Blessings
I know that each and every day, in my work whether as a psychotherapist, speaker, or author, I am directly and indirectly “healing the children”. Yet I must say to you, this unexpected event in my life has caused me to look more fully at the question and ask what else I can do to “heal the children”.
I’ll keep you posted.