I’m actually writing this blog on the heels of three really tragic events in the Orlando, FL area. First was the shooting death of Voice alum Christina Grimmie; the mass shooting at Orlando nightclub Pulse; and, the alligator attack at a Walt Disney World Resort that left a 2-year old boy dead.

Trauma much?

I am left sitting here with my mouth kind of slacked open from the unimaginable grief, shock, and horror with which the loved ones are grappling. Mark Grimmie tackled the man who had just shot and killed his sister. Isaiah Henderson watched as his mother stepped in to take the bullets from a raised gun aimed directly at him. Matt and Melissa Graves tried desperately to free their baby from the mouth of an alligator as it dragged him deeper and deeper into the murky water.

The thing that keeps coming to my mind is a snippet of the video we feature in Chapter 4 – Healing Neen – when Tonier Cain is talking about her own children and that they are somewhere out in the world but she knows nothing about them (her children had been removed from her care due to her inability to provide for them), Tonier asks, “how do you heal from that?” and Tonier’s therapist stated, “you do.” You do.

I remember being in a situation that probably many of you have also faced. The death of a loved one. And I really did wonder how I would go on. But you know what? I did.

I did because of all the other relationships I have in my life. My support system. All those people who had my back. The people who gave me space when I needed it or were there to spend some face to face time with me if that’s what I needed. No judgment. No blaming. No “get yourself together” pep talks. Just giving me whatever it was I needed at that moment.

Instead of getting into Facebook spats about gun control or asking questions like, “where were the parents?” from the safety of your computer how about we try something different. Let’s give people the space to grieve. Let’s show some compassion. Let’s ask how we can help instead of telling others how things should have been done. Let’s get back to the practice of being human beings and away from the practice of being judges. Let’s be kind and gentle to each other.

Nikki Wince – Mandt Faculty Supervisor