In recent years, public shootings have shaken our nation and many communities. There was the 2011 Tucson, Ariz. shooting, 2012 Aurora, Colo. shooting, and 2012 Newtown, Conn. shooting. In all of these shootings, many innocent lives were lost.
Unfortunately, Ross Township, Monroe County experienced this stunning and appalling tragedy earlier this month.
In providing a reflection to the Pocono Health System (PHS) family, the Rev., Dr. Sherrie Sneed, director of Pastoral Care said, "There are moments in time that defy explanation. No matter how much information we comprehend in our heads, we will never understand in our hearts.
"The events in Ross Township are just such a time. This will be a time forever etched into our memories as other times of crisis have come to be. We will not forget. We surely will grieve our loss of innocence, of our understanding of who and what we were before Monday evening and, most especially, for those who were mortally wounded.
"This is what family does. As the Monroe County family, we will do what we do best care for each other. We will reach out in the midst of this painful time to reassure and comfort. We will remember that we are Monroe County."
After the Newtown incident, Deepak Chopra, founder of the Chopra Foundation and author of more than 70 books, wrote an article for CNN, titled "After tragedy, brain needs to heal."
In this article, he discussed that individuals delay healing when obsessing over details of a tragedy and trauma caused by the incidents disrupts the balance of the brain and it needs time to come back.
Chopra also explained that after an incident like this, powerful emotions emerge that the brain has difficulty dealing with and it is important to resist negative images, seek companionship with loved ones and friends, and speak gently.
To aid individuals in healing, Chopra encouraged them to "hold each other in loving awareness, walk away when the conversation contains negativity, keep your life as structured as possible, try not to be alone, forgive yourself when you feel like a victim, and allow for someone else's point of view."
PHS has offered its services and staff to Chestnuthill and Ross Townships. PHS is also planning a community healing event to occur Sept. 19, 5:30-7 p.m. at the Western Pocono Community Library in Brodheadsville.