Orlando, Florida has been besieged by tragedy the past few days. A young singer just starting her career shot, fifty people killed in a nightclub and now a toddler snatched from his parents by an alligator. Appropriately, people around the world are paying tribute to the victims and offering support to their loved ones. First responders who have trained for events such as this, with the hope they would never need to use these skills, are being heralded as heroes. Vigils, social media posts, debates on how these tragedies can be prevented in the future fill the news. Soon we will watch as the victims are buried. Their loved ones will be left to grieve. The first responders will be debriefed, forever changed.
In a few weeks, maybe months, the shock Novocain, as I call it, will begin to wear off. The victims loved ones will be left with their amputated souls in need of healing. The first responders may be left with wounds of their own in their psyche. Everyone involved will journey down a new path.
To those who are looking for ways to ease the pain of grief and traumatic stress, there are a plethora of options today-counseling, bereavement groups, journaling, art therapy, energy healing, aromatherapy, the list goes on. It may be necessary to use a few different options. As a former Wound, Ostomy, Continence nurse who worked for several years in a level one-trauma center, my favorite healing modality is nature. I gently advise those in need to consider nature when you find that well-meaning humans just aren’t comforting you in the way you feel you need it.
In future blogs I will include the scientific evidence that supports that nature does indeed heal. But for now, maybe you just need to know it is there-a walk in a local park, a visit to the beach, camping in a National Park. Let Mother Nature rock you gently in the waves of the sea, melt away the pain inside with the warmth of the sun, bath you in luscious-green life in the forest.
Mother Nature reminds us of the cycle of life. She surprises us with joys like finding a newly born fawn in a field, a perfectly crafted seashell on the shore or a bold-colored rainbow after a sudden storm. She will remind us to hold strong when we see roots of a tree grasping a rivers edge. Each morning the sun will rise, reminding us each day is a gift. Tomorrow is promised to no one. On a starry night, as we gaze into the sky, Mother Nature humbles us with wonder. May those skies also support those affected by the tragedies in Orlando with hope and possibilities. Love never dies.
Do you have suggestions that help heal from trauma and loss such as what those in Orlando experienced? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.
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