Reflections on Trauma and the Boston Marathon

Jennifer Nahas, OCF Executive Director

Jennifer Nahas, OCF Executive Director

Source: Orthodox Christian Fellowship

by Jennifer Nahas, OCF Executive Director

OCF, IOCC and the GOA Metropolis of Boston held an open discussion for young adults and college students about the recent events in Boston.  Bishop John and OCF board member and IOCC first responder, Fr Peter Preble led the discussion; they were  joined by Fr. Patrick Tishel, and other local clergy and chaplains.

OCF students were at the finish line and along the route at the time of the bombs went off.  Many passed by the exact location of the bombs.  Some saw suffering they had to come to terms with; others witnessed incredible selflessness of those running to help.  Our students described what they experienced as being in a movie; watching the horrors unfold, confused on how to react and not sure how they were going to get out safely.  Thank God, everyone did make it back to apartments and dorm rooms, but what remains are emotions  —  confusion, guilt, emptiness, sadness, anger  —  that are difficult to manage, understand and heal.

Through this experience, I learned what trauma looks like — blank stares, unbelievable grief and general disbelief.  Our college students did not have their family to wrap their arms around them.  But, the Theotokos wrapped her arms around our students, keeping them safe on Monday, April 15th at 2:00.  And, on Tuesday evening, OCF wrapped its arms around the students with comfort, love and understanding.

Please pray that our students heal and re-establish their connection to God, beauty and hope.


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