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Collective Grief

Today I met with Mike Dale, radio host at KHMB, to talk about the impact of the mass shooting at two local farms in Half Moon Bay, CA on January 23, 2023 and the collective grief response to that event. Events like these can have a profound impact on a community, leaving a lasting emotional toll on all those affected. The collective grief response to such an event can be overwhelming and complex.

Grief is a natural and normal response to loss, change, or death.

When a community experiences a mass shooting or any other traumatic event, it's not uncommon for individuals to feel a sense of shock, sadness, anger, and fear following such incidents. As a resident of Half Moon Bay, I have have felt all these same feelings and have had a firsthand look at how the community is responding and coping with this tragedy.

Grief: A journey that no one wants to be on but everyone wants to get through

During times of collective grief, vigils, memorial services, or other community events are organized to honor the victims and show solidarity. These gatherings can provide a sense of belonging and support, helping people feel less alone in their grief. We in Half Moon Bay have our civic and spiritual leaders of Half Moon Bay and the County of San Mateo as well as Govenor Gavin Newsom to thank for mobilizing such resources for our community. Additionally, mental health services and counseling resources may become more accessible to help individuals process their emotions and trauma. See Congresswomen Anna G. Eshoo's site for a list of available resources.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted...

The City of Half Moon Bay recently posted an article about how, “...victims and their grieving families are grappling with income loss, everyday living expenses, college tuition, staggering medical bills and in-home care, as well as therapy for PTSD and more.” There are about 40 victims whose lives were directly and irrevocably changed by this mass shooting. Everyone is encouraged to contribute to the Coastside Victims Fund to help support the ongoing needs of the families directly affected:

100% of the funds collected goes directly to the victim's families.

Grief is the price we pay for love...

As time passes, our grief response may evolve, but it's essential to acknowledge that healing is a gradual process, and everyone copes with grief differently. Be aware that reminders of the event, such as anniversaries or media coverage, may trigger intense emotions even after months have passed. Self-care, sticking to a routine, attending to our emotions and reaching our for help is critical to our ability to respond to our collective grief.

It's important to remember that the effects of this mass shooting on our community can be long-lasting, and support and understanding are essential for the healing process. If you or someone you know is struggling with grief or trauma, consider reaching out to local mental health professionals or support organizations for assistance, or contact me directly at 415-225-0973

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