It has been bittersweet this past week to see the world come together over the tragic loss of so many members of the Humboldt Broncos hockey team.
Tragedies like this bring to my mind a pebble that's been thrown into water: it touches so much more than the direct point of impact. Like ripples in the water, the unexpected loss of life has impacted many people.
Everyone is uniquely affected by the Humboldt tragedy. Based on my experience working with individuals in crisis, I've outlined some suggestions to help you cope, and maybe even support those people who are having a terrible time making sense of what happened in Humboldt.
Life-altering events like this one have a profound impact on our lives, and we may never fully feel whole again after the loss of a loved one.
We all experience grief differently, but the important thing to keep in mind is that you allow yourself time to grieve. Know that there is no right or wrong way to grieve, and those around you will do whatever they can to support you during this difficult time.
If you find this event may have triggered buried emotions, or perhaps even PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), reach out to a grief counsellor as soon as possible to discuss your feelings and emotional state.
Even if you have not been directly affected by this tragedy, you may know someone who was. Make sure they are getting the help they need, but also tread lightly, as everyone deals with crisis differently. If they ask to be alone, leave them alone, but check in every couple of days to make sure they're okay. It may seem difficult to find a balance between being too involved and not involved enough, but they will appreciate your efforts in the long run.
You may also be indirectly affected because you are a parent of a child on a hockey team, you have children the same age or you're a compassionate human being. If you find that you're out of sorts and having difficulty focusing because of this tragedy, talk about it with your support system, whether a family member, friend or work colleague. Also know that professional counsellors are available to support you during this, or other, difficult times in your life.
Show your support
No matter how you may be connected to this tragedy, here are some ways you can join the growing support for the Humboldt community:
- Wear a jersey. People from all walks of life having been donning sports jerseys in support of Jersey Day. Share your jersey picture and well wishes on Twitter using #JerseysForHumboldt.
- Donate. An indication of the far-reaching effects of this tragedy is the millions of dollars that have been raised worldwide in such a short period for the families of the hockey team. A GoFundMe campaign has been created to raise money for the families and survivors of the crash. No amount of money will take away the pain the survivors and families are facing, but every donation helps ease any potential financial strain they may experience as a result of the crash, and donating can also make you feel good about doing something to support the victims.
- Become an organ donor. If you aren't already an organ donor, perhaps this event may be your inspiration to become one. Logan Boulet, one of the victims of the crash, will be greatly missed, but his passing means that six other people will live because of his organ donor status.
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If the Humboldt crash directly affects you, or if you relate to it in any way, I encourage you to seek counselling. You're not alone.
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