When tragedy strikes it is overwhelming.
I woke up to dozens of alerts from the news channels I follow with headlines like “50 killed in the Las Vegas massacre“, “Several dead and hundreds wounded in Las Vegas hospitals…”, and “the deadliest mass shooting in US history in Las Vegas…” and my heart dropped.
Hours later I received a text from my mom that one of the women that died in the incident was from my hometown. A beautiful woman that appeared to be my mom’s age that died in her husband’s arms. Her pictures depicted a life of love, of traveling, of enjoying her children and grandchildren….then I saw we had several mutual friends and my heart dropped further. How devastating. I reached out to a friend that is one of my kindest and most amazing friends and she shared stories of their friendship. My heartbreak compounded as I learned her husband was former military and her son currently serves. They’re part of our military family and their world is crashing to shambles right now.
A few minutes later a friend shared that her brother was at the concert but is okay. The emotional devastation will haunt them forever.
These things are unfair! They make us shake our heads in disbelief, in anger, in frustration, and mostly, in devastation. We wonder what we can do because we feel hopeless, helpless, and scared. I don’t have all of the answers but I do know a few things…
- Love hard. Love deeply. Love unconditionally. Share that love with your spouse, your children, your family, and your friends. Don’t miss an opportunity to say “I love you.”
- Be positive. It’s so easy when there is SO much tragedy in the world to sink into a funk that is hard to get out of. My dad passed away in March and I have to fight daily to stay positive. It helps me to remember that he would want that for me and for my family. Those who perished in this horrible incident were enjoying an amazing country festival. They were enjoying life. They would want that for you!
- Count your blessings. If remaining positive despite all of the heartache in your life and the world is hard for you start each day or end each night writing down the things in your life that you are thankful for and make this a habit. It’s important.
- Lean on friends and family. If you are struggling, reach out to someone you love. Let them know what you’re going through and lift the weight of that burden just a little bit.
- Help/Serve/Support others. I can’t think of anything that motivates me more than making a difference in the lives of others. Volunteer your time and your skills to those causes that are important to you or your community.
- Band together. Love and kindness matter so much and when horrible things happen we can still come together as a family, a community, a country.
- Forgive. Forgiveness does not mean we forget nor does it mean the offender is free from his/her choices but it gives us the opportunity to release the burden of anger, hate, injustice, etc. that plagues our hearts.
We know bringing children into the world during times of turmoil can bring a sense of nervousness. We are here to support you through those feelings. As we witness the beauty of bringing a new, innocent life into this world we cling to the peace of knowing we have the power to raise a new generation. We have the ability to instill kindness, justice, equality, peace, gentleness, compassion, and love into these sweet babies so that they can grow and raise their families in a world without hatred. We have more power than you think and it starts within our own homes.
So today, I challenge you, in their memory, to make a difference. Call up a loved one and tell them you love them. Hug your babies a little tighter. Read one more bedtime story. Donate your blood, money, or time. Give a stranger a compliment. Pay for the person behind you’s coffee. Do something kind. Make someone smile.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the families, friends, and loved ones affected by this horrific tragedy.
Written by: Melissa Nauss, Owner | Lead Doula of Stars and Stripes Doulas of New Orleans