I wrote this after hearing about the deaths of the 19 firefighters in Prescott, Arizona. It brought back some of the pain I went through after my oldest sister was killed in a horrible freak accident 4 years ago. I decided to share some of what I learned from that experience and what helped get me through. I hope my words will help some of those grieving for the firefighters:
A word of advice to the surviving family members and friends of the 19 Firefighters from someone who has walked in similar shoes:
Take care of yourself now.
Make sure all your needs are being met - physical, emotional and spiritual.
Be gentle with yourself. Allow yourself to make mistakes more often than usual.
Ask for help and allow others to help you. Many people are great at helping others, but find it difficult to allow others to help them. This is a time to work on that if it is an issue for you.
This is a time to stop taking care of the world and let the world take care of you. Donations, cards, and social media support are pouring in from all over the world for you right now. Take it in. Allow yourself to feel that love and support.
Know that you are not alone. You are being held in the arms of a loving and caring community of human beings who see your pain and want to reach out to help. Please accept it. We want you to know you are not alone and we want to help you grieve, then heal, then return to the world with the sensitivity, empathy, and wisdom only those who have walked in your steps can offer.