Trying to heal after a tragedy

July 24, 2012

Aurora can overcome this tragedy

By: Vicki Little
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Last week I added an article after the newsletter was published with resources on how to talk to your children about the Aurora Theater Shootings. My thoughts are continually with the families, the victims and our community. If there is anything I can possibly do to help you, please reach out and I will do what I can. Huge thanks to one of our advertisers, Thrive Community Recreation Center for all they have done for Aurora, as well as to the person who created the Facebook page Aurora Theater Shooting. These are only two of the many companies and sources that have reached out and gone above and beyond.

It is easy to be afraid. I find myself nervous when I leave the house now. I realize how fragile life is. Whether it is a car accident or a senseless tragedy such as the Aurora Theater Shootings, there are things I just can’t control, and that is where the fear is. Fear thrives in our lack of control. A decision is made, such a simple decision like going to the movies, and your life is changed forever. It would be easy to change my habits, change my life. But in doing so, evil takes hold. Evil wins over good. Sunshine and life can’t be enjoyed in a shadow of fear.

 It is easy to be heartbroken knowing that parent and child will not hold hands again, will not giggle at the park together, color a picture together, or celebrate a holiday together again. It is heartbreaking to know that lovers will never share the joy of a wedding, that a wonderful woman that escaped a similar tragedy just over a month ago will never realize her dreams. And we shouldn’t forget them…ever. We should celebrate their lives.  We should praise the heroes. We should be thankful for those that are still with us.

I want to be angry. I want to shout that it isn’t fair that he could do so much harm but yet be kept in solitary “for his safety.” I want to demand an answer to why. I want to take back all those that were lost. I want to have some sort of payback. But putting more anger in the world doesn’t do anyone any good. We won’t ever have a good enough answer for why this happened…because there isn’t a good reason. There can’t possibly be a good enough answer that would change how horrifying 7/20 was. But healing can’t happen in an angry heart. Hatred only hurts us more; those capable of acts such as these are not affected by our anger or hatred. We can only feel peace by letting go of those painful emotions.

So now I am choosing to focus on the good. I am choosing to focus on the amazing spirit of all the heroes that were in that theater that night. I am choosing to focus on the beautiful community that has banned together and embraced those they have never even met before. I am not letting that person get attention he doesn’t deserve. I am not letting him into my house to invade my children’s hearts with fear. I am not going to allow him to keep me from living my life as I would have a week ago.  I am not letting him win.

It is time to start to heal. We will each have to heal in our own way, and in our own time. And in that, we can remember those we lost. We can learn the lessons they taught us. Lessons of strength, courage and community. We can tell those we love that we love them; we can hold our children tight and live each day to the fullest. And we can fight back and show him that he didn’t win, that Aurora does.

There are many resources to help you if you need it, and there are many ways that you can help if you would like to. has a fantastic list of resources available. I would recommend those first, but if you do find individual ones (and there are many) please be sure to check the validity of the fund first.

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