Have we become desensitized to violence? Have we lost an understanding of grief and loss? When word of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre was broadcast on all news media, the country, the world grieved over such a horrific assault on our children. Days and weeks were captioned by the tragic deaths of such young lives. Since, there have been assaults on our schools with children falling victim to crime, yet media focus dissipates quickly.
Another example raising question are the beheadings of innocent individuals captured by ISIS. First was James Foley, a journalist captured and beheaded. The world was mortified about such a horrific act of violence bestowed on an innocent man. Then there were those that followed the same destiny, yet the stories were not as captivating in the news. Have we become immune to understanding the grief and loss of life?
So the question gets asked again…As live news brings ‘in the moment’ coverage of a tragic death, and social media instantaneously connects us around the world, are the everyday visions of massacre, violent deaths and natural tragedies desensitizing us from feeling compassion and empathy? Does it just become “another day”?
If the answer is ‘yes,’ then how are we as a society able to express compassion for our family and friends bereaved? Has grief become something unnatural to feel? Have we determined,”… it’s no big deal when a loved one dies?”
Unfortunately the answer may be yes to both questions. We are becoming desensitized to malicious acts of violence and it does impede on our ability to understand and appreciate the grief family and friends experience when a loved one dies. Until it [grief] becomes your own, grief is pushed aside by others as something you’ll get over and move on from.
Silence does not mean one’s not grieving. Some people may be outwardly sad, others not. Some may be visibly angry, and others may seem unaffected. But be assured, when grief knocks on your door, you become a member of a club no one wants to join. It is then when grief and images of violent death take on new meaning; it is then, we finally understand grief and loss.