There is a lot of pain and suffering that follows an event like this.
For those of you reading who do not know of what this blog relates to, you can read so here.
I have lost people very close to me, but I cannot even come close to understanding what it feels like to lose a partner, or a child. And that is not what this post is about.
I felt compelled to write this, to help myself and others sort out emotions brought on by this event.
Human function, is a mixture of chemical experiences that bring together our conscious, sub-conscious, emotion, and what we perceive in the world around us.
This is why times of loss can be so confusing and complex. Direct family members have to battle mixed signals between reality, memory, familiarity and understanding.
Genuine love, the kind you have for family... The love that doesn't change with circumstance. Looking at some one every day learning who they are, being proud of them, and excited for them, experiencing and growing with them... this is the most sought out and valuable human experiences. So valuable that documented history shows time and time again, that humans have sacrificed everything in search of it. People have changed who they are for it, died in honor of it, and even have killed for it and because of it.
So it is completely understandable that when it has been taken from someone, in an instant without warning, without repercussion and with no party to blame, a complexity of emotion will arise.
People directly affected will go through 'jumps' of emotion. They will experience sadness, anger, confusion, depression only seconds apart from each other. It is the inability to filter through this that will drive a person mad, and even to his or her own demise.
Now we as a community have the opportunity to step in.
Knowing Matt personally I am going to be a little more personal now.
The remaining family members of this tragedy are in need of genuine friendship, and comradery.
Comradery by definition is a feeling of good friendship among people in a group, its synonyms being, brotherhood, companionship, community and company.
They may feel as if the only people important in their life have been taken, and this may be true, but what they are unable to see right now is that they do have good, caring people in their life. Right now, though they may not want it, that is what they need. When the hustle and bustle of funerals, mourning, sympathy cards, and flowers dissipates, they will still be alone, without those missing pieces of their life. Alone with thoughts and emotions to run free, and no reason in the world to suppress or address any of it.
They aren't going to want to talk, or blow off steam, or get wasted. It may feel like that is what they need at first, but in the end, they are going to want answers. Since you, I and no one else can give them this, the best thing we can give is our company.
Sit with them, one on one, just hanging out. Be available constantly for them. There may be a moment where they will just cry, or yell, be there for them in those moments. Listen to them stammer off incomprehensibly, and listen to them when it all actually makes sense. Cry with them, reminisce with them, laugh and yell with them. Be there when there are no words left to say, and just keep on standing by them.
Tragedy in life is completely unavoidable, that is part of being human. How we react to tragedy however is a big part of who we become.
Growning up just a block away from Matt, we may not have been BFF's, but we were friends, and from that I know that he is a good man, and honest, who works hard and has really made the most of life for himself. So I know that with his friends standing in for him, he can heal in time, not forget, but heal.
Our friends are standing in shambles at the feet of tragedy and despair. If you are in the position to reach out and assist, then do so. If not only to do the right thing, then do it in hopes that there will be a hand for you to reach out to someday, if you need it.