In the wake of the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, a grief expert is urging people to reach out to available mental health resources.
“They might find little tidbits of things that will help them or will help them to help someone else,” grief counsellor Andrea Raynor told Saskatchewan Afternoon.
Raynor, a reverend in the United Methodist Church, specializes in mass trauma and shootings. She’s helped survivors from major tragedies including 9/11, Sandy Hook and the Pulse Night Club massacre.
She said her emphasis to patients is everyone grieves and heals in different ways.
“I never really say ‘well you should really do this.’ There are no ‘shoulds’ when it comes to grief,” Raynor said.
The 20-year hospice chaplin does suggest survivors get involved with bereavement groups, noting they allow for ideas on healing strategies to be exchanged.
Raynor said the people surviving the Las Vegas massacre are dealing with trauma in addition to grief, which complicates the mourning process.
Given her faith, the pastor is often asked why God would allow violence on the scale of an event like Las Vegas.
She said she shares the view of God loving all humans, but allowing them to make their own choices.
“Unfortunately with human freedom comes this choice to do beautiful things or terrible things and that’s a part of the human dilemma.”