Inside Disruption Blog

Finding Resiliency in the Aftermath of a Tragedy

Nicole Crans
August 28, 2015

Resiliency is the process of adjusting well following an impactful event. In response to the shooting of two news reporters that occurred in Virginia, how is it possible to display resiliency?  With a sudden death of people so young, many may be asking how to move on after such a senseless act. Is the sentiment, of whether he or she is in a better place appropriate when two young lives were taken? Both of the victims were engaged to be married. The future with their beloved will never come to be, it will forever be a dream lost by that one person who they intended to spend the rest of their lives with. With the sadness and grief the families are experiencing now it seems impossible to fathom the thought of moving on. In our society today grieving is not tolerated well. It may be in the weeks or months following the event, but eventually the thought is to move on, that person would have wanted you to be happy and live a fulfilling life. The question is how do you move on? Is resiliency the idea of just moving on, or are there more factors at play?



It is true that the family, friends, colleagues and the community of the reporters will experience a heightened level of grief, but what about the rest of us? The incident made national news, clearly people everywhere have had reactions, and by conversations with others the grief we experience at a distance is evident. In some cases it may bring back past events that made a significant impact in our lives, and will forever be a part of us. Remember how we got through such an incident, and share empathy to those close to the victims experiencing the grief. We all don’t have iron shields that prevent us from feeling the pain that others are experiencing. We are connected, and the strength and assurance that someone else has experienced something traumatic, and overcame it provides so much strength for those experiencing the incident first-hand.


For those close to the victims it may seem difficult. Even though the physical body of a friend or loved one is gone, it doesn’t mean that they cannot still be present in spirit. Recognize the impact that person has had on your life, and acknowledge the ways their impact can be remembered and cherished.


Grieving as a group, and supporting one another is very effective. Have a tribute for those people, keep their memory alive. In the following days emotions may feel raw and hard to verbalize, that is okay all grieve in their own timing. As the days pass more clarity will come. Resiliency, just like grief is a process, you need to allow yourself to go through emotions.  One day may be better than the last, true resiliency is moving forward. This can and should be done with recognizing emotions as they present themselves. Resiliency is not a characteristic that some possess, and others do not, it is a choice, a behavior.


In the wake of a tragedy how do you respond? Those we lose are brought into our lives, and unfortunately have to one day leave us. It doesn’t mean that our attitude towards life has to change, our views have just changed. Through every experience there is an opportunity to display resiliency. And again much like the process of grief it will happen in one’s own timing, resiliency will follow with taking one day at a time.

Nicole Crans