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Commentary, sarcasm and snide remarks from a Florida resident of over thirty years. Being a glutton for punishment is a requirement for residency here. Who am I? I've been called a moonbat by Michelle Malkin, a Right Wing Nut by Daily Kos, and middle of the road by Florida blog State of Sunshine. Tell me what you think.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Help dealing with grief

According to this Washington Post story, grief counsellors have descended on Virginia Tech University to help those there deal with their feelings in the wake of last week's tragedy.

Joanne Jacobs calls these people grief vultures, I'm inclined to be kinder. These people, even if not invited, are well meaning. After my son's death, my wife and I went for counselling but we stopped. It was a long drive, and dear wife not I didn't want to do it any more. Other than the people with the dogs mentioned in the story below, I think some of those in Blacksburg could use this help.

That's just my two bits. Feel free to disagree with me.

Linked to- Big Dog, Conservative Thoughts, Right Wing Nation,

BLACKSBURG, Va., April 23 -- As thousands of students returned to class Monday at Virginia Tech, they were greeted by legions of people who came to help.

Volunteers came from the Blacksburg United Methodist Church to hand out bags of homemade chocolate cookies as students walked to their first classes. Others came from Colorado, Florida and elsewhere to offer art projects, pet therapy or a listening ear.

During the past week, a mini-army of grief counselors and other experts and aid providers has converged on Blacksburg. This southwestern Virginia town is the latest stop for a volunteer response force that moves from hurricanes to school shootings to terrorist attacks.

Craig Nason, 25, a survivor of the 1999 Columbine High School shootings, flew from Denver on Saturday night with four friends to visit classes, attend church services and show students what life could look like eight years on. Since Columbine, he has traveled to the scenes of several shootings, including Wedgewood Baptist Church in Fort Worth and the Red Lake Indian Reservation in northern Minnesota.

He said his goal is to be helpful without smothering students because he remembers the well-meaning hordes that came to his high school. "They ranged from the professional to the bizarre," he said.

Stationed outside the Virginia Tech student center were packs of "therapy dogs" that wore green vests and quietly sniffed the knees of passing students.

"They are trained to be calm in this type of situation," said Dawn Eischen, a handler who brought Ginger, a whippet mix, from Chester, Va. "They are put in situations where people have been emotionally disturbed or where there are sirens or a lot of noise."

Campus officials said they have been overwhelmed by the support. Many people were invited, said university counseling center Director Christopher Flynn, but "a lot of people just came." Flynn said he could not vouch for the training or background of all who came.

Over the weekend, a disaster response team from the Churches of Scientology set up a massage table offering "nerve assists" and handed out brochures noting that the team had helped victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and of a Moscow hostage crisis. Nearby, a Virginia artist got more than 1,000 people to dip their hands in colored paint to make a mural that he will offer to the college. Christian volunteers at another table handed out books titled "Where Is God When Things Go Wrong?"

On Monday, students hooked up with their favorite support system -- one another -- and walked through the maze, nibbling cookies and stopping to pet dogs as they made their way to class.


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