After Tragedy

In the first aftermath of a tragedy, victims experience numbness and shock. Shock gives way to tears, one of the very first stages of grief. All anyone can do is try to feel safe again on the most basic level. Hold each other. Don’t be afraid to ask for contact. Reach out and tell your loved ones that you do love them; don’t let it be taken for granted. Feel your fear. Be with it and allow it to be released naturally. Pray. Grieve with others if you can, alone if you must.

Numbness and tears lead to the second stage, in which powerful emotions rise to the surface, often after being buried for years or decades. Feelings of age and sorrow will erupt. You will feel deeply afraid in a way you have never experience before. The most common incidents–the slam of a door, a car backfiring, a surprise tap on the shoulder–could trigger panic.

The third stage of suffering comes when you feel that you must take action, either to heal or to strike out against the attacker or to lend a hand to other victims.

Nothing alleviates suffering like reaching out to another person who is suffering. Go and help, be of service if only in the smallest way. Any gesture–whatever you feel safe to do–is a step toward healing.

Adapted from The Deeper Wound: Recovering the Soul from Fear and Suffering, by Deepak Chopra (Harmony Books, 2001).

77 comments

Anna Undebeck
Anna Undebeck4 years ago

Thanx very much, nicereading

Ida J.
Ida J.4 years ago

thank you

Robert O.
Robert O.4 years ago

Thank you.

bn Newman
bn Newman5 years ago

camilla vaga said it all. i lost my husband in august 2008. he was the love of my life. very suddenly to stomach cancer. what was worse, if anything could be? he was schizophrenic.

prior to his final sz episode and impending death, i had been in good attendance and a very financially supporting member of both my temple and synagogue. NO MAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

i am burnt out trying to help people. i want people to let me alone unless they want to shut up and drink a cup of coffee or wine with me, discuss politics or music and then step away and go live their own life and let me live what's left of mine.

g-d -- schwmaad. someone once said religion was invented to keep us out of jail. i believe that. and the ones that take it seriously usually end up IN jail.

Camilla Vaga says
Oct 30, 2010 12:33 AM
hmm, I havent felt helped by being at service to others more like more burned out. Cause when I am at my darkest are so stressed out I cant stand being around others. I need space, be alone in the nature to heal.



Read more: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/after-tragedy.html#ixzz1IeVF31Rq

Bon L.
Bon L.5 years ago

Thanks for the info.

Camilla Vaga
Camilla Vaga5 years ago

hmm, I havent felt helped by being at service to others more like more burned out. Cause when I am at my darkest are so stressed out I cant stand being around others. I need space, be alone in the nature to heal.

Diane Wayne
Past Member 5 years ago

And please remember to pray. God will be with you when you ask. God will give you comfort in your loss. God will give you guidance and healing. God will give you love.

Diane Wayne
Past Member 5 years ago

Thank you. also, Bach Flowers Star of Bethlehem really, really helps heal from shock, fear, and grief. May all who have or are suffering loss receive God's blessings.

Kathy K.
Kathy K.5 years ago

Thanks.

Jacquie B.
Jacqueline B.5 years ago

Deepak Chopra's articles are short, superficial and push his books, articles or agendas. I'm not reading any more of them.