Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Ministry of Presence

Kermit Crawford, Ph.D. of the Mass. Resiliency Center did a wonderful workshop on psychological first aid the week before the two year anniversary of 4/15/13. He addressed the issue of invisible injuries (a post for another day) and how there are normal reactions to abnormal events such as the violence of the bombings. He shared with us the story of his grandmother who had a third grade education and yet was an expert in psychological first aid. "She'd have you sit down at the kitchen table. Give you a glass of milk and a cookie and pat your hand and say, 'it's going to be all right sugar.'"

He talked about the importance of just being there and being here for one another; to hold the space and maybe not say or do much of anything yet being present with each other is doing a whole lot of something.

Kermit talked about the healing power of time, tears and talk and knowing that it's going to be okay; we are all going to be okay.

I know there have been waves of emotions during these past 9 weeks as there has been almost constant exposure to the trial and reminders of what happened that day. The Facebook news feed during the defense's presentation of the penalty phase of the trial seemed to stir more intense emotions than when the survivors were on the stand. Yet as we love and support one another through these waves of emotions, we are healing. There have also been triumphant marathon runs through the wind, rain and cold and dancing on the Boston Marathon finish line; Foundation launches and hundreds of thousands of dollars raised to do good in this world.

We are slowly finding our way to taking the next steps on our healing journey.

But we don't travel this journey alone. We need to be there for one another to bear witness with compassion to the pain, and to celebrate life, healing and resiliency. We can pat each other's hands and say, "It's going to be all right sugar." We are making it through this and finding our path of peace, acceptance, strength, courage and healing. We are stronger than we ever thought we could be. Our hearts broke open to allow a more vast love to fill us. We each serve in our own special way to be a part of this beautiful tapestry of life. We are ministers and care for each other with the tender love of a grandmother feeling safe, comforted and loved. We are all walking each other home!

Be blessed...journey well...to all good things!

My latest book, "Journey Well" is now available on Amazon along with all of my inspirational books. 50% of book proceeds are donated to the Massachusetts Resiliency Center, a safe, welcoming space for survivors of the Boston Marathon bombing to heal and stay in touch with one another; a virtual hub for a widely dispersed community whose lives have been impacted by the tragic events of April 15th and the events that followed.

When terror struck the world's oldest and most beloved marathon on April 15, 2013, it was a defining moment in Mary McManus’ life and the lives of all those in Boston and around the world. It was her wake up call to return to the sport and community that have been medicine and a lifeline for her throughout her marathon of healing the late effects of paralytic polio and experiencing 9 years of domestic violence as a child and adolescent. Mary captures the essence of Boston Strong through her experience of the 2014 Boston Marathon and as she profiles the people who are Boston Stronger. Through her blog posts, poems and journal entries woven together with excerpts from her memoir, “Coming Home: A Memoir of Healing, Hope and Possibility,” you will experience, through one woman’s journey of transformation and healing, that no matter what happens to us, we can all learn to journey well.

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