A mass shooting event affects not just the community but the entire nation. It shakes the very core of every person. It implants fear and grief for everyone.
In this type of horrific and traumatic loss, one does not just experience tragic loss of life, but also a collective loss. So apart from the long term pain and grief of the parents and school administration, the nation as a whole experiences a national grief.
In addition to this national grief and fear, survivors of the account face their own inner demons. Survivor guilt can overcome many teens. They can question why they survived or question in what ways they acted.
The waves of grief and loss that rock a nation with mass shootings are too many to detail.
The loss of life, the loss of safety, the loss of peace and the continuing scars of survivors and families all cry for better laws to help protect America from these tragedies. What these laws entail, the law makers will determine but in the meantime, the types of grief that rock the country will continue.
Survivors will experience survivor guilt. In some cases, this can become so severe, that students, or survivors will commit suicide. Survivor guilt exists in soldiers from war but exists in any type of traumatic experience. In these cases, individuals will feel guilt over not dying and question everything they did that die. Post traumatic stress disorder can also manifest in the individuals who are attempting to move on in life past the incident.
Those not involved in the shooting, but from a more distance will experience a collective national grief. The nation will mourn the loss but also mourn the injustice. This leads to political activism as well as new laws. The nation however remains scarred psychologically with the indepth fear that a mass shooting can happen at anytime. Whether Americans are going to the movies, or dropping their child off to school, or attending worship, there remains a fear in the back of their minds.
This is a collective type of grief that a nation inherits from such tragedies. These events shake the individuals involved but also shake the very soul of the collective nation. Grief and loss is shared by many at different levels of loss. Some of these losses are more personal and intense while others experience this grief in a more abstract way.
If you would like to learn more about loss and grief then please review the American Academy of Grief Counseling and its Grief Counseling Certification.