When things happen that make no since and lives are lost, where do we turn. I turn to God, not to blame, but to call on his promise to carry me. When I was in school I lost a classmate and friend. The community was devastated. Councilors were brought into the school for the students. Your children who witnessed this event are all wired differently. Some will openly talk, cry and release the grief. Others will react like I did. I felt I had to be strong. I comforted others, to cope. Family and friends spoke with my parents because they were concerned that I did not cry, I was taking it to well. They feared a huge breakdown in my future. Some of my classmates yelled at me in anger, “you don’t even care!” that hurt me. I cared so much that my physical body was sore from holding back the tears. The bottom line was I was afraid to cry, that would not be able to stop. There were so many broken and crying around me, I just could not add to their burden.
Try to talk with your children, if they are not ready, give them space. They need time to process, but don’t wait too long. They may seem fine on the outside. They are going to want to be strong for you. Make sure they are ok. For many of these kids, this could be the first time they experienced death. They could have survivors guilt. They may have questions, let them ask. If you don’t know the answer, it’s ok. Work it out together, there may not be an answer. Help them to understand the best that you can.
These kids lost some of their innocence. Don’t shut them out of the adult conversation, they need to be involved to learn and heal. Above all else hug them, love them and pray for them!