Choosing Love During Grief

By Angela Dube, LMFT

It is with a heavy heart that we send our love to all of those with loved ones who were killed in the VTA shooting, and all the other traumatic events over the past year.


It started as a normal morning. A beautiful sunny California day. And then I stepped outside to walk my kids to daycare and smelled a strange and overwhelming burning smell. Once I returned home, I turned on my phone to find out what the noxious smell was. It was absolutely heartbreaking to learn that there has been yet another mass shooting, this one feeling particularly close to home as I smelled the shooter’s home burning and heard the cacophony of sirens all around downtown. There has been so much pain and loss in the past year due to Covid and violent acts of hate. It does not get any easier each time another atrocity occurs.


Today is another beautiful California day, yet something feels different. There are 9 families who will never see their loved ones again. There are 9 individuals who went to work yesterday expecting to come home and never will. There are dozens of others who witnessed this terrible act of violence who will never be able to erase their memories.


Grief can feel like so many things: numbness, sadness, anger. Let’s do our best to channel that grief into love. Let’s hold our loved ones extra tight. Reach out to a friend whom we haven’t spoken to in awhile. Channel our anger into fighting for positive change in our communities, nation, and world. Find ways to help one another. And let’s be gentle with ourselves as we feel the grief in all of its forms washing over us.

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