It’s almost impossible to put into words the loneliness, the sadness, and the heartbreak of not knowing anyone who understands your pain. It was through meeting others, who were hurting like myself, that I realized healing could begin.
Twenty-two years ago, when I survived the shootings at Columbine High School, there were very few words or sentiments that could bring comfort or solace. That is still true today; words fall significantly short, they feel small and trite. However, I felt compelled to at least try to convey some of the comfort I wish was shared with me.
The process is definitely ongoing and roadblocks have come my way, but I have been able to turn them into speed bumps. They slow me down, but don’t stop me entirely, all because the Triumph Over Tragedy program has helped me to find some new tools for my toolbox.
My survivor story is just one of the many stories from people who suffer from the trauma of mass shootings. I tried so many things, but nothing worked for me. My hope is that if you know someone who has been in a mass shooting and is suffering that you will encourage them to reach out to The Onsite Foundation.
As much as friends and family members try to understand what it’s like to lose a child, they just can’t unless they’ve walked in our shoes.
The truth is, life is forever different. We will not go back to exactly how it was before. That’s the grief. But when there is grief there can also be growth.