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John James, founder of The Grief Recovery Institute

John W. James

Founder of The Grief Recovery Institute®
Co-Author of The Grief Recovery
Handbook & When Children Grieve


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Two Year Tragiversary of the Boston Marathon Bombings

Wednesday, April 15th, 2015 marks the second “tragiversary” of the Boston Marathon Bombings which killed three innocent people and injured 254 others.

We don’t like to use the word anniversary when remembering horrific events like this because anniversary generally has a positive meaning, and there’s absolutely nothing positive that can be taken from this event.

As horrific as that day was in the impact on those who were directly affected, the rest of us were reminded what easy targets we can be when we’re out in public, especially where many people are gathered.

The recent conviction of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on all 30 counts in the Boston Marathon bombings gives some sense of justice, and a little bit of comfort and solace to the surviving families and friends of those who died, and to those who were injured.

But now that the trial is over, those who were directly affected must get back to the task of dealing with their emotions about their personal losses, lest they give more attention to Tsarnaev than he deserves. He already robbed them of someone they love or of their own physical well-being, they mustn’t give him anymore.

For the rest of us, when we’re reminded of recent man-made catastrophic events that have happened on US soil, we almost automatically think of 9/11. But the Boston Marathon Bombings also put us in mind of the Oklahoma City bombing of the Murrah Federal Building which happened on April 19th, 1995.

Beyond the horrific losses of life and injuries, those three events conspired to cripple us by eroding our sense of safety and our sense of trust. With that came a “loss of innocence” that was the sweet by-product of growing up in a culture that hadn’t felt an attack on us in our homeland.

There is no way to really understand why people are driven to take the diabolical actions that cause mayhem to so many. And, as we said, there’s nothing positive to be taken from these events.

The only sliver of value we can take away is the reminder to live as fully as possible in the moment—to cherish each other and our relationships—and to communicate our feelings about each other to each other every day.

© 2017 John W. James and The Grief Recovery Institute®. All rights reserved. For permission to reprint this and other articles please contact The Grief Recovery Institute at info@griefrecoverymethod.com or by phone, 800-334-7606.

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