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by Abigail Van Buren

Grief Needs an Outlet in the Wake of National Tragedies

DEAR ABBY: Recently the news has been filled with stories of tragedy and heartache. So many innocent lives have been taken that it has proven to be challenging to process. Although I haven't personally known anyone affected in these events, I feel the weight of grief on my heart.

I know I'm not the only person who is confused about how to manage their emotions after national tragedies. Do you have any suggestions as to what to do during times like these? -- WANTING TO HEAL IN WISCONSIN

DEAR WANTING: Yes. But first, let me suggest what NOT to do. Do not remain glued to your television or computer screen taking in every graphic detail that invariably follows the announcement. Ration the input, and the "poison" will affect you less.

Talk about your feelings with friends and/or family rather than bottling them up and letting them fester. And if it will make you feel less helpless, donate some money to the families who have been affected by these tragedies to help with funeral or other unexpected expenses. While it won't fix their heartache -- or yours -- it will let them know that others care.

If it won't depress you further, participate in community rallies, vigils or other organized events to show support. This, too, can help.

Read more in: Mental Health | Death