EDITOR’S NOTE: Mindy Corporon is a nationally known advocate for the thousands of families affected by tragedies each year—drawing on hard-earned wisdom she has gathered after a terrorist attack struck her family. Now, Mindy’s life’s work has become a multi-faceted effort to share spiritual solace as well as very practical ideas for coping with trauma and loss. Her podcasts and her community-outreach and training programs already have helped men, women and young people nationwide. So, this week, when a 15-year-old gunman unleashed a shooting rampage inside a Michigan high school, Mindy immediately responded with examples of the many practical ways neighbors can respond. (Wikimedia has more background on the Oxford High School incident and its aftermath.)
Responding to a horrific tragedy starts with the simplest of daily challenges
By MINDY CORPORON
With deep respect for the lives lost and the lives shattered in the shooting at Oxford High School this week, we pause and ask ourselves: What can we do?
Crying, prayer and sharing your feelings with your family and friends is always a good place to start. From there, there are different actions depending on whether or not you know the victims.
If you know the victims of the tragedy, you can help by gathering together, being present, assisting with the necessities of daily life, such as laundry, grocery shopping and caring for the family pet. Drop off paper products. Organize a long term plan for meals, beyond the initial days following the event. Their grief will leave them needing help with food and day-to-day needs for weeks and perhaps for months down the road.
If you don’t know the victims, but are hurting for humanity, you can send a letter to the victims’ families to the funeral home.
You can send notes to the high school for students and faculty to read when they return.
Make a donation to the high school for the services they may need, to help with the grief and healing.
Plant a tree or have your own candle-lighting for the victims.
It is important to remember the students at Oxford High School when they return to classes in January. Letters, flowers and cards will help the Oxford community as they reassemble and face their new reality.
Mindy writes about the legacy of her own family’s trauma after a terrorist attack in Healing a Shattered Soul, which is available from Amazon.
A popular speaker, teacher and writer, Mindy has dedicated her life to encouraging kindness, faith and healing in congregations, companies and communities. Among the programs she has co-founded with this vision are the Faith Always Wins Foundation and Workplace Healing, LLC.
The emphasis on healing, which is right there in the first word of her memoir’s title, is the core of this book’s power to inspire readers and spark fresh engagement in our communities.