JSU counselors offer advice following Anniston homicides
By Abby Knight
After the quadruple homicide in Anniston, many members of the Jacksonville State University community are facing the reality of grief, either dealing with it personally or helping a close friend or family member deal with it. Coming to terms with the death of a loved one, especially a violent death, can be a hard, complicated process.
Here are some thoughts on coping provided by JSU's Counseling and Career Services:
Recognize the length of the mourning process -- Generally it takes 18 to 24 months just to stabilize after the death of a close friend or family member. It can take even longer if the death was a violent one.
The worst of times may still come -- After a tragedy, a state of shock or numbness may set in. Often, it is 4-7 months later when reality sets in. Unfortunately , many people believe that the grief process should be over by then.
Answer Honestly -- Responses to “How are you?” should not be “fine” unless actually feeling fine.
Find support in someone who has been there -- Only they can say : "I know, I understand.”
Depression may be just a cover -- Let out emotions such as anger in an appropriate manner.
Hold a “Pity Party” -- Take time to be a victim. It can be therapeutic.
Cry if you want to -- Watch out for being “the strong one.”
Acknowledge inexperience -- Ask for help in dealing with the onslaught of new emotions being felt.
Reach out -- Helping someone else, in even the smallest way, can be a step toward healing.
Find strength in sorrow -- Many times, faith in oneself, in others and in God can deepen in times of crisis.
Additional information as well as assistance can be found at the Jacksonville State University Counseling and Career Services or at the Family Services Center in Anniston. JSU Counseling and Career Services can be reached at (256) 782-5475. Family Services Center of Calhoun County can be reached at (256) 231-2240.
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