AURORA - Anniversaries are a big deal for those who have gone through something traumatic. For some it is very distressing, bringing up a lot of emotions and tough memories. For others, it can be a celebration for having made it through the year. Either way, it's a profound time.
OTHER STORIES AS WE REMEMBER AURORA
Bev Marquez is with Metro Crisis Line. She spoke to 9NEWS Tuesday morning regarding the upcoming, one-year mark of the Aurora theater shooting on July 20. She sent the following tips for those dealing with mixed emotions as the day approaches:
- Be aware that special days or anniversaries may be difficult
- Be gentle with yourself and others
- Participate in rituals that are comforting
- Talk about loss if needed
- Do things that help with complex emotions such as writing, talking, walking etc.
- Enjoyable activities where possible
- Accept kindness
- Help others
- Sadness and Anger are natural
Also, Marquez warned that children may be irritable or sad without understanding why. She suggested limiting exposure to what is appropriate for age group.
"I would say there would be a broader range of reactions than one year ago," Marquez said. "There has been so much press since last year that there is less fear and compassion as many are 'tired' of hearing about it, just want to move on, and are frustrated with the way the legal case is going. So think there will be more frustration and anger than sadness and grief and shock as we saw last year. I think many will want to honor victims and their families and others will focus more on their own lives and their own crises. I think a general theme could be anniversaries of any loss and why are they difficult and we can we do to effectively cope and heal through them."
INTERACTIVE 'AFTER AURORA' SPECIAL SECTION
Family acknowledgement can also be healing, according to Marquez, so she suggested planting flowers or making a donation to help in the grieving process.
Volunteering in the community is an important positive action that contributes to healing. Giving to others helps people regain a feeling of connection to their community and a sense of importance as they realize their efforts are worthwhile to others. At the same time, it serves as an act of remembrance.
Volunteer projects have been established at a variety of non-profit organization like Project C.U.R.E. the Food Bank of the Rockies, the Colorado Freedom Memorial, Aurora Mental Health, and a number of other locations.
There are multiple volunteer opportunities, which are mostly listed here: http://bit.ly/1aLqey5.
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