Healing from Trauma

Submitted By

Kim Odom
Boston Public Health Commission, Massachusetts
August 7, 2013

While participating in a trauma training workshop on January 19, 2012 to learn how to enhance skills on how to work with people in the aftermath of violence and to learn self-care as a provider, the instructor began to talk about helping people who are survivors of victims of homicide remember their loved ones from a celebratory place. For example, instead of remembering the anniversary of the death, remember a more celebratory date.

There was a mother in the workshop who raised her hand and voiced that she had lost her 13 year old son to gun violence and it didn't seem to matter what date she focused on, it still was hard to celebrate.

The instructor asked the mom, "what's the date of your son's birthday", the mom took a deep breath and said, January 26, next week, he would be 18yrs old, and she broke down in tears.

The instructor hesitated before commenting, realizing the magnitude of what had just taken place.

I am that mother. Healing from trauma is an ongoing event, and every day for me is bittersweet.

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