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Wake of a mass shooting has Brazos Valley parents reflecting on emotional impact

Posted at 8:47 PM, May 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-25 21:49:17-04

BRAZOS COUNTY, Texas — As we uncover the details of the Uvalde shooting, we want to extend our arms to the parents and guardians of our community. We understand this is not an easy time and may trigger many emotions.

Two vulnerable parents were willing to share the emotions they were experiencing, to ensure anyone else out there who can relate and to let them know they're not alone.

Loss, grief at the hands of someone using gun violence. It’s a difficult topic to discuss, but I had a chance to speak with two parents with a unique perspectives willing to share their thoughts as our nation is impacted by another mass shooting.

Finding the words to describe how they're feeling is difficult.

“You just feel sad first and then you feel lost,” said Suzanne Gose, parent and homeschool teacher.

“The traumatic impact that’s going to have on other children as well as parents a severe loss is just a tragic situation and it just brings sadness,” Doug Vance, president of the Brazos Valley Coalition on Suicide and Prevention.

With five children of her own, Suzanne Gose empathizes with the parents now grieving for their babies.

As she reflects on her years in the public school system, she recalls the memory of a very scary time.

”When I was a public-school teacher before I homeschooled, we absolutely had active shooter drills. That by itself is scary,” said Gose.

Doug Vance has supported families through the process of grief. He says he understands each individual will experience it differently.

”It’s also a denial, an anger, a bargaining, a depression, but then there’s generally an acceptance, it doesn’t mean condolence, it doesn’t mean it’s okay, but it means you learn how to live with the event,” said Vance.

Vance encourages people to talk about their feelings.

”We know the importance of having someone who’s going through a traumatic event, traumatic loss to be able to talk about that with people who can relate,” said Vance.

According to the gun violence archive the U.S. Has experienced 212 mass shootings this year so far.

44 have taken place in the month of May.

19 of those this month have taken the life of at least one child.

And with those stats, Gose says she would feel better if one main thing could change.

“Every individual to have the right to protect themselves as they see fit, no matter where they are. I don’t agree with the idea that if you’re in a certain place, you can’t protect yourself,” Gose explains.

If the Uvalde Elementary School shooting has emotionally impacted, you there are organizations in our community that can provide the support you need.

Reach out to the number to NAMI Brazos valley HELPLINE (1-800-273-8255) if you would like to seek a peer support group.