Boston Marathon Attacks: Getting Through a Tragedy’s Aftermath

[ 0 ] April 15, 2014 |

pray4boston1The Boston Marathon bombings one year ago left three people dead and more than 260 wounded. Some of those who survived had entire limbs blown off, shrapnel wounds, and perforated eardrums. The tragedy marred what is one of the most enjoyable days for Bostonians and visitors who descend up on the city on Patriots’ Day for the nation’s oldest marathon.

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Dr. Mindy Cassel, Ph.D., C.T., Executive Director and Co-Founder of the Children’s Bereavement Center and a licensed psychologist and certified thanatologist, said events like this not only impact those who were directly involved, but the entire community. She offered insight as to how parents and specialists can talk to children and others involved in such tragedies. 

Oftentimes, in discussions following tragedies, people both young and old benefit from talking in groups, Dr. Cassel said, a way of “giving voice to those who need to share their experience, ask questions (even unanswerable questions), and revisit the events in order to process this experience and attempt to make sense of this senseless act.”

Related: The Children of 9/11, by Dr. Mindy Cassel

“What many fail to realize is that for some of those involved, this discussion may need to be ongoing; there is no quick fix for such an overwhelming experience or the trauma that is attached to it. Being part of a horrific event like this is like being in a war; those involved are all victimized and need to regain a sense of control over their lives.”

Dr. Cassel said that while it may be an opportunity to discuss future safety measures – whether it be a school attack or attack like that in Boston – talking the event and the aftermath through “becomes a means to regroup and ultimately heal.”

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“Finally, for those who are mourning the loss of friends and family members, long-term grief support groups – and for some, individual bereavement support – are important tools to assist the adjustment to both the trauma and loss. For these individuals, it will take considerable time, and a community of both professional support and fellow grievers to learn to live with this profound loss.”

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Category: Loss & Grieving, Relationships, Views on the News

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About Mindy Cassel, Ph.D., C.T.: Mindy Cassel, Ph.D., C.T., is Executive Director and Co-Founder of the Children's Bereavement Center® (CBC). She is a Licensed Psychologist and Certified Thanatologist. As Executive Director, she oversees the CBC's operations, management, planning, and financial [...]
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