By John Schorling
It’s been a week since the mass shooting occurred at the University when three football players died, Lavel Davis Jr, Devin Chandler and D’Sean Perry, and another football player, Michael Hollins Jr, and a student, Marlee Morgan, were seriously injured. Another student, Christopher Jones, has been arrested for the shooting. Many others’ lives have been irrevocably changed. Grief over the deaths as well as the impact of trauma of the event will persist for a long time, undoubtedly for the duration of their lives for some. How can mindfulness be helpful in such a terrible situation? We can remember that we can just be with whatever arises without judging our experience. There are multiple emotions we might feel-grief, anger, fear, among many- and we can see if it’s possible to acknowledge whatever we’re feeling, even if we then choose to shift our attention to something else. Connecting with others can be helpful in validating what we are experiencing and recognizing that we are not alone. The University did this on a large scale with the memorial service that was held on Saturday at the John Paul Jones Arena. We can cultivate kindness for ourselves because many of the emotions that arise are difficult to be with. We might also seek professional help if we’re feeling overwhelmed. And we can choose how we wish to respond going forward. Some examples include cultivating kindness and compassion for those who have been affected, reaching out to provide support for others, or becoming involved in efforts to prevent such a tragedy from happening again. The positive attitudes of all three young men who died were frequently referenced at their memorial service on Saturday. The Daily Progress commented on “the light they brought into other people’s lives”, and we might use this to guide how we can respond in ways that emulate their examples and honor their legacies.
Filed Under: Monthly Musings