I love The Voice and I have an off and on crush on the winner of season 6, Josh Kaufman. As a result of listening to his music, I would come across the amazing voice of Christina Grimmie, who came in 3rd that season. I share the shock and grief of many fans around the world when I learned about her death over the weekend. I couldn't wrap my head around this reality and would go through moments in my day, thinking that it's surreal. Such a beautiful life, taken from us.
Before grief even had time to sink in, I, along with the rest of the world, experienced more losses in the worst mass shooting in US history. These 49 victims have names, faces, and ties to loved ones. They had aspirations, were wonderful students, and held jobs that served the communities in many ways. My heart is broken and my body is heavy. Those injured are still grappling with their own mortality.
How do I respond to NOT one, but two Orlando tragedies?
I can tell you I want to hide.
I want to withdraw from others.
I'm in shock and disbelief.
I feel cynical about the state of our world.
I want to give up.
I think the world is unsafe.
I feel like a news junkie, which is very unlike me.
I want to protect my loved ones.
I think about the last time I've lost a loved one and how difficult that was.
Those were my knee-jerk reactions. I let myself stay there for two days and tonight, I got online to write this post. I talked about it with my hairstylist, my sister, my parents. I gave my husband a long hug when he came home from work and I'm keeping abreast with what's going on without over-indulging.
What about you?
I want you, the reader, to know that your thoughts, feelings, urges to withdraw, desire to connect are very real. I'm with you. I also want you to know that prolonged viewing of these traumatic media coverage will lead to more stress reactions, as shown by UC Irvine researchers when studying media exposure to the Boston Marathon bombings.
Please, limit your media exposure to these Orlando tragedies. Know enough to know what has happened, but don't follow every post and definitely not the playing and replaying of related videos and audios. Turn off the TV, the radio, the computer, the phone. Connect on social media around your grief, but meet face-to-face. Go to a vigil; host your own mini one. Take a break from talking about these events and just be with the other. We are not meant to go through such atrocities alone.
And, let me know if you need help processing all this or if it's awakening past trauma. I'm still here.