How To Cope When A New Tragedy Triggers Old, Unprocessed Grief

When tragedy strikes a community and engulfs it in grief, the ripple effect reaches in to hearts and touches every type of grief that hasn't been processed. I have the privilege of living in an awesome little Colorado mountain town that sits at the base of many fourteen foot mountains. This past week, a family from our community decided to hike a very familiar trail as a way to enjoy each other and the beautiful fall weather. Before the morning was over, five members of the hiking party lay buried under 100s of tons of rock where part of the mountain slid off onto the trail. Only one survivor was pulled from the rubble.  Shielded by her father, she escaped with her life.

Since helping clients work through grief issues is a part of my passion, I received phone calls from people in the community whose unprocessed grief was triggered by the event. It is sad to think that it took a disaster of epic proportions to reveal the hidden grief that lay dormant for so many years in these women. An unstoppable barrage of tears came forth as women sat in my office and cried about the hidden pains they needed to release, stored away for decades.  It never ceases to amaze me at how well grief manages to hide and the incredible power it has to bowl us over once it rears its ugly head.

If you are dealing with hidden and unprocessed grief you’ve tucked away, there is a possibility that tragedy of some form will trigger it.  If you do not grieve your losses you will just manage your sorrow the rest of your days.   Facing the lurking giants that reside deep in the recesses of your soul will bring you more relief than you can imagine.  I would encourage you to look at the losses with courage and hope with a caring professional in your area.      

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