Moving through the seven stages of grief in wake of Paris terrorist attacks



I don’t understand why planes fly into buildings. I don’t understand why people march into schools with guns and start shooting everything in their path. I don’t get why people bomb running marathons or walk into a magazine publishing company and start shooting. I don’t know why people attack peaceful military bases. I don’t understand why the attacks in Paris on Friday night happened.

I don’t get the motive or what in those criminals’ minds made them think it would be okay to take matters into their own hands and kill. Maybe they feel it was justified, but where in their past did someone tell them it would be okay?

What makes me sick is that following this tragedy, the blame game is going to begin. Governments point fingers at other governments; religions point fingers at other religions. Everyone tries to justify it:

“It’s because of the meds they’re on for mental health.”

“It’s because of video games.”

“It’s because they were brain washed by their religion.”

“It’s because it’s what they were taught by their leaders is okay.”

It’s natural to try and make sense of things. We try to understand things in black and white because that’s how we handle life during the good, the bad and the ugly.

There are seven stages of grief, and the people in Paris are going through those seven stages when it comes to these past weekend’s attacks. The stages are: disbelief, denial, bargaining, guilt, anger, depression and acceptance/hope.

We don’t get to enjoy that final stage a lot because a new attack occurs. Sure there is hope in building monuments and having memorials, but how much of that is out of guilt? Is there ever truly a moment when we can exhale and think “yes, the world is going to be okay?”

I pray that we can get to that acceptance and find hope without letting the other stages go too far. Because it’s natural human inclination, the other stages have to happen, whether it be through war, peace treaties, memorials, laws, invasion, shutdown.

What the terrorists in Paris did was wrong, there is no question about that. But instead of trying to justify what happened by coming up with reasons and excuses, the world has to unite and move through the remaining seven phases in whatever form they may come.

But above all, the world must move forward with God as a witness. He is the great physician who wants to heal the wounds of the world. Why not let him? We tend to think that our problems are too big for God so we push him away. But the Lord is a gentleman and will only act when we ask him to do so.

Will we? Or is the world going to try and handle this latest tragedy on its own?

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