Boston Marathon Explosions, Newtown Shootings: Responding to Trauma
On April 15, 2013, three people have died and more than 100, including children, were injured after two explosions at the Boston Marathon finish line disrupted the popular international running competition.
As with the Newtown, CT, school shooting in December, 2012 and other traumatic events, one need not have been on site in Boston's Copley Square to feel unnerved, angry, or shaken.
These resources, developed or suggested by Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) staff, may help you process today's disquieting events emotionally and spiritually for yourself, in your family, and with others in your faith community.
- Making Meaning after Disaster (PDF) by Sarah Gibb Millspaugh, a Tapestry of Faith workshop for congregations, posted by the UUA Resource Development Office
- Together in Faith (PDF): Finding Home in Times of Trauma or Disaster by Tracey L. Hurd, posted by the UUA Resource Development Office
Meditations and Readings
- In Beyond Absence: A Treasury of Poems, Quotations, and Reading on Death and Remembrance, collected by Edward Searl (Skinner House, 2005): A prayer by Victoria Safford (p. 117); "Love Abides" by Barbara Pescan (p. 144), and "We trust that beyond the absence" by Anonymous (p. 154).
- In Mary Oliver's New and Selected Poems, Volume 1 (Beacon Press, 1994): "In Blackwater Woods"
Blogs and Articles
- Boston Marathon 2013: What Story to Tell Our Children... and Ourselves by Gail Forsyth-Vail, UUA Adult Programs Director
- Supporting Children in the Face of Disaster or Trauma by Tracey L. Hurd, posted by the UUA Resource Development Office
- Helping Students Navigate a Violent World by Sean McCollum, posted by Teaching Tolerance, A Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center
- How to Talk with Children about Boston Marathon Bombs by Gene Beresin, MD, on the website of WBUR, Boston's NPR news station April 15, 2013
- Talking with children about horrific news by Michelle Richards, UU Parenting blog, March 28, 2011
Tips and Fact Sheets
- A National Tragedy: Helping Children Cope and Talking to Children about Violence (PDF): Information for Parents and Educators, from the National Association of School Psychologists
- Helping Children Cope with Tragedy-related Anxiety, from Mental Health America
- Discussing Hate and Violence with Your Children, from the Anti-Defamation League
- Talking with Kids about News, on the PBS Parents website
- Coping with a Traumatic Event, from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- The Terrorism section of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network's website offers multiple fact sheets for processing a shooting tragedy with children (PDF), youth, and adults.
- The Educators for Social Responsibility website provides the National Education Association's 2012 School Crisis Guide (PDF): Help and Healing in a Time of Crisis.
- How to Talk to Kids about Traumatic Events, a video segment from PBS for parents of young children
- How to Cope with a School Shooting (Video) with Dr. Hayley Sherwood, licensed clinical psychologist
- Talking about Death: A Dialogue between Parent and Child by Earl A. Grollman (Beacon Press, 2011)
- Living When a Loved One Has Died by Earl A. Grollman (Beacon Press, 1997)
- Listen, Protect, and Connect: Psychological First Aid for Children and Parents (PDF) by Dr. Merritt Schreiber and R. Gurwitch (2006)
- Trauma Response Resources for Families and Congregations on the UUA website