Talon News - Good Local News

REMEMBERING CAN BE HEALING

 

December 7, 2018



By Jacque Ritchie, TALON

Friday, December 7, marks the year anniversary of the Aztec High School shooting that claimed the lives of Casey Jordan Marquez and Fransisco ‘Paco’ Fernandez. AHS Principal Dr. Warman Hall has invited parents to join first responders and students for an 8 a.m. assembly and breakfast social on Friday. According to an annoucement published in TALON (11/30/2018) Dr. Hall is mindful that the day may be a difficult one for both staff and students. Classes will be shortened, counselors and therapy dogs will be hand for emotional support.

“It’s a real thing for a lot people...whenever we go through an anniversary of a major event whether it be a death, an earthquake or it could be a divorce... as an anniversary approaches sometimes our bodies will tell us before we even know what’s going on in our heads,” said trauma and grief specialist Rebecca Larivee LCSW. “We may feel a little ‘squirrley’ like a physical feeling of tightness, almost a tenseness or one may become tearful or anxious sometimes the body kicks in first.” A graduate of San Francisco State University, Larivee of Larivee Counseling explains, “We do, to a certain extent tend to re-live what happened. I hate to use the word ‘trigger,’ we really need to find a better word than that, but sometimes you may be walking by the school or standing where you were when the town basically shut-down, it brings those memories back as though you are reliving it...It’s totally normal, totally natural to feel a little sad, or anxious...it’s your emotions working through what happened last year.”

“Just because people go through depression sometimes, just because they get angry sometimes, or experience anxiety that doesn’t mean they have a mental disease, that’s just life, that’s just being human,” said Larivee. “We need to change the mental health culture to give people permission to admit things like, ‘Hey I have anxiety,’ or ‘I sometimes have panic attacks’ as humans we are emotional creatures, it’s our nature... With the Aztec shooting anniversary in mind, I think it is important that you honor your sadness if you are sad, or your anger if you are angry, or your anxiety to go near a place that it happened.” Larivee says that a lot of local people are experiencing different levels of emotion related to the event of December 7 but many will not mention their feelings to others for a variety of reasons including one as simple as, propriety and good manners. Basically it’s just bad form to speak of things that may cause sadness or anxiety in others. “People think, I should not mention it because, ‘I should be over it’ or ‘I don’t want to upset anyone.’”According to Larivee when you walk into Safeway there is a good chance that one-in-four of the people you see strolling through the produce section are silently dealing with the same issues of sadness and anxiety. “What I tell people who are dealing with anxiety and depression too...is you are not alone one out of four people are dealing with similar issues, we tend to feel we are weird or different when we have these feelings but you are not alone. I think taking that risk to express how you are feeling you would be amazed how many connections and what kind of support you can get.”

Larivee advised speaking to trusted friends and family and even taking part in a community activity like attending the Aztec Sparkles celebration could help alleviate sadness and foster feelings of unity and solidarity within the community.

 

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