Helpless, tired, and downcast is how most of us feel in Chicago these days. Numb, tired and brokenhearted are the news anchors, camera crew, mayor, superintendent, police and first responders. Traumatized and grief-stricken are us all. After watching the news on Chanel 9 last night and seeing Micah report on another shooting, knowing she has spoken about being tired of telling us these things, made me sad to see her have to talk for hours about the shooting at Mercy Hospital. To watch the mayor and superintendent once again come together and give us such grim news, was seeing the very human side of these two powerful men. To listen to the Mercy Hospital director choke up and feel his deep grief as he talked about his doctor and pharmacist assistant having been killed, was personal.
As a health care professional, I feel deeply saddened for my fellow health-care workers at Mercy and the other hospitals where Dr. O’Neal and Dayna Less were working their rotations and shifts. Chicagoland is a big place, but in the health care world it is not so big. Most of us, know each other from working rotations together, attending conferences together or going to professional organization events together. We are not as organized as the Police, but sill we hang together, live life together and support one another. This shooting has shaken us and has mobilized us to do what we do best, support one another.
I know that the city hospitals are doing what they can to help Mercy at this time. I know they will move to assist in whatever way they can. I know the Sisters of Mercy will move and offer support and be there for the employees. I struggle and wonder, “What can I do?” or “How can I help?” I do not have the answer for what I can do or how I can help except for prayer, sending warm thoughts and extending kindness to others.
For those who have lived through this trauma, please consider:
Reaching out for support. All of us are feeling this grief, the whole country is grieving much; whether it be from fires,murders, suicides, car accidents or illness. It feels like grief is everywhere. We must reach out and not withdraw inward.
Reach out to someone you trust, release your tears, talk with a counselor.
Try out a support group or ask a counselor to start a support group for your office, for your department.
Do not reach for alcohol or drugs, it will just make it worse.
Contribute to Stop Gun Violence
Walk through this, grieve, cry, work through the pain and
do not let it defeat or destroy you.
Keep walking-keep taking care of yourself.
We need you.