It’s been two years to the day since the bomb went off near the finish line of the Boston Marathon in 2013. As I reflect on the events of this day, I wanted to re-share the stories of the graduate students who were in the practicum course I was teaching at the time. They all represent different perspectives on the tragedy and how these new professionals worked through it while also helping others. Many are stories of people who temporarily set aside their own healing to help others.
Working in student affairs and higher education, one frequently works with students who experience tragedy, trauma, grief and loss. Some of us are on the front lines of responding to crisis, often risking our own safety, and some of us deal with the indirect effects of these incidents, supporting our students and campus by helping a community process through difficult experiences and emotions. As helpers, this often requires us to set our own emotions and difficulties aside… But who helps the helpers?
Together with the students in my student affairs and higher education class at Boston College, we wanted to share our stories of working through the tragedy at the Boston Marathon. We share them here to help others in our profession understand that they are not alone in working through these tragedies on our campus, big and small. We also share them to help ourselves heal and to begin to make sense of these recent events. We hope these stories will help others understand and find comfort.
“Turn your words into wisdom”
Some of the authors below are presented anonymously, and others have chosen to include their names and contact information. Please feel free to contact the individual writers if you feel compelled to do so. We also welcome individuals to leave comments at the end of any of the stories and share their own stories. We hope that by providing these stories, we create the opportunity for dialogue and sharing. Ultimately, that is the best way to heal.