Research provided by the National Cancer Institute portrays grief as a process that has stages, is personal and unique.
Among those stages and unique responses are numbness, shock, disbelief, denial, guilt, anxiety and anger. Those feelings were all visible Monday on social media sites as news of the Boston Marathon explosions spread.
Those feelings were especially visible on the
ABC2 News Facebook page as we shared news of the events and approached ways to share the public's grief over the issue.
It was a question – "If you could say just one word to those injured or killed in the Boston Marathon Explosions, what would that word be?" The types of responses were broad with some common themes.
Love, pray, hope, strength, peace – some even expressed anger with our attempting to start the conversation. Others couldn't even put it into words.
According to the research, the types of feelings shared and expressed by those coping with direct or indirect loss are influenced by things like personality, age, faith, gender and social support. In regards to social support, a lack of support from family, friends, neighbors and the community can affect day-to-day living and ability to cope with loss.
ABC2 News' conversation on Facebook was aimed at providing social support, though some working through emotional responses to the topic may have had a completely appropriate reaction that saw otherwise.