United in Courage & Grief 

There is a tremendous strength that is growing in the world through...
sharing together, praying together, suffering together, and working together.

-Mother Teresa
Ways of Coping then Helping
This section provides helpful information for coping with the aftermath. First a reminder of the basics needed for survival. Then a few suggestions specific for fighting back against terrorism. There are more concrete ways of coping. We have also included some ways of relieving grief. Finally there are ways of helping, including an article on "Creatively Expressing Grief" and "How Children can Help." (Click here to skip the suggestions for responding to terrorism and go directly to More Concrete Ways of Coping.)

Ways of Coping - The Basics
In coping with the aftermath of these tragic events, it is important to take care of yourself. Even more so, during this time of stress and uncertainty, remembering to focus on what is basics for your body to survive:

Peaceful Ways of Fighting Back Against Terrorism
1. Keep your money in the stock market; leave your investments where they are. Show your faith in our economy by investing in the stock market.
2. Fill your car's gas tank as you normally would.  Don't run to the gas station to fill up your car. Stay with your normal pattern of fueling. If you're a gas station owner, don't give in to price gouging. If you find yourself and your community victims of price gouging (at gas stations or grocery stores), bring it to the public's attention.
3. Buy things anything, no matter how small. Consider buying a new car, something fuel efficient to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. If you've had a project or purchase on your mind, now is the time to follow through. Don't put off purchases that you have planned because of this incident and fear for the economy. These delayed purchases can be self-fulfilling prophecies of a failing economy. Our collective purchases will have a phenomenal impact and help us fight fear induced volatility of the price of everyday goods and services.
4. Fly the American flag.  Fly it from your house. Fly it from your car. Fly it in a position of respect anywhere you can. Stand tall and be American.
5. Withdraw cash from the bank as you usually would. Don't help cause a run on the banks by withdrawing all your money. Our financial systems are strong and resilient. Withdraw cash as you normally do. Terrorists fully intend to scare us into thinking that our systems are vulnerable well beyond the point of impact.
6. Use public transportation systems. Make business and travel arrangements as you normally would. Book a flight as quickly as you are able in order to show your confidence in our airlines, the new airport security guidelines, and our public safety system. Support the airport security personnel and let them know you're proud of what they are doing.
7. Conserve energy.  This will help to stabilize prices and supplies. Take public transportation, walk, bike, carpool, do whatever you can to avoid driving. Taking public transportation to work once a week will be a tremendous help. Turn off unused lights and appliances at home.
8. Write your members of Congress to demand more funding for alternative fuel research. Our dependence on foreign oil is a huge vulnerability. If the United States decides to take military action, our oil supplies may be affected. By reducing our dependence on foreign oil, we enable our government to do what is deemed necessary.
9. Help unify this country by engaging your neighbors and community.  We need to have one voice to fight terrorism. Everyone must come together in order for our collective actions to defeat this evil. Acts of violence against our own people, regardless of their faith or background, can only be destructive.
10. Get back into your normal pattern of work and living. Do what you can to continue your normal routines.  Embrace the new security guidelines in airports and other public places and don't complain.
The "Ten Commandments" of Responding to Mass Terrorist Attacks (Abbreviated)
George S. Everly, Jr., Ph.D. and Jeffrey T. Mitchell, Ph.D.
1. First, never lose sight of the fact that, either as a primary or secondary goal, the terrorist act is designed to engender psychological instability. More specifically, the goal of the terrorist act is to induce a state of psychological uncertainty, personal vulnerability, and fear. Terrorism is psychological warfare!
2. Establish crisis intervention hot-lines and walk-in crisis intervention facilities in every community directly or indirectly affected. Psychological support and the restoration of a sense
of community is imperative.
3. Provide pre-incident psychological resiliency training, as well as on-going psychological support during and after the terrorist attack to emergency response personnel.  Remember that the psychological state of mind of emergency responders and military personnel will have direct effects upon their ability to perform their necessary functions and upon the physical and mental health of the targeted population as well.
4. Collaborate with mass media services to provide on-going information to all involved and affected populations. Credible information is anxiolytic, and contradicts the sense of chaos. Information combats destructive rumors. Provide age appropriate reading, mass media, and community activities to help children cope with the situation. 5. Take whatever steps seem requisite to re-establish a sense of physical safety for the public. Widely publicize these efforts to the degree security considerations will allow. Special considerations should be made for children, the elderly, and the infirm.
6. Enlist the support of local political, educational, medical, economic, and religious leaders. Have them facilitate communications, calm fears, provide personal crisis intervention (if adequately trained to do so), and instill hope.
7. Re-establish normal communication, transportation, school, and work schedules as soon as possible. The longer and greater the disruption, the greater the perceived risk and lack of safety on the part of the public.
8. Understand and utilize the power of symbols as a means of re-establishing community cohesion. Flags, bumper stickers, wearing red, white and blue, signs, and billboards can all be effective.
9. Initiate rituals to honor the survivors, honor the rescuers, and honor the dead. Provide opportunities for others, not directly affected, to assist those directly affected, e.g., donations of blood, food, clothing, money, etc. Communicate to all the notion that an effective way to honor the dead is to carry on and succeed in life. To do otherwise is to allow the terrorists to be victorious.
10. Do no harm! Although well intended, early psychological support may be counterproductive if:
a)  it interferes with tactical assessment and rescue efforts,
b)  applied in such a way as to interfere with natural recovery mechanisms, or
c)  it intensifies the manifest level of experienced traumatization.
Ways of Coping - More Concrete Ways of Relieving Grief
In addition to the techniques already mentioned below are some suggestions of additional techniques which can be helpful in relieving the intense emotion of grief. Many of the "Things to Do" are also listed under "Ways of Helping" since one of the best ways of feeling better is to do something for someone else.
Things to Do:
Express your emotions down on paper via Creative Writing, Journaling, Poetry, even List making
Take slow deep breaths, especially when feeling tense
Soak in a warm bath, or warm bubble bath
Walk, run, hike, dance, play tennis, swim, ride a bike, climb a rock--whatever gets you moving
Attend religious services
Plant a "memory garden"
Send your condolences
Walk or Run for Charity
Design a Website
Wear a ribbon - Red, White and Blue for Patriotism, Green for Peace (see below)
Display the American Flag--on yourself, on your car, on your home
Organize a memorial service
Sing, listen to soothing music
Pray or meditate
Hug a loved one
Get a massage
Create a memorial e.g. quilt, mural, sculpture etc.
Help someone else less fortunate
Put your creativity to use
Things to Sense:
Watch favorite old uplifting movies
Attend the theater
Go to the symphony or music concert
Look through old photo albums, alone or with loved ones
Get out in nature
Walk through a garden
Look up at the night sky
Watch the sun rise or set
Watch the waves at the ocean
Listen to a brook, lake, river or ocean
Smell - your favorite smells e.g. baking bread, pine forests, spring flowers, lavender

Things to Feel:
A deep sense of calmness
Feeling the wind on your face
Tumbling down a snowy or grassy hill
Having water splash and tingle your skin
Seeing a rainbow emerge from the clouds

Places to Just "Be"
Under a tree
At the beach
On a rock
In nature
By a stream or lake
On a bench
Under a waterfall
In a warm bath or hot tub
On top of a high mountain
In a church setting
In a setting with a breath-taking view
At sunset
Sitting quietly, calmly
In this troubled world, it's refreshing to find someone who still has the time to be kind.
Someone who still has the faith to believe that the more you give, the more you receive.
Someone who's ready by thought, word, or deed to reach out a hand, in the hour of need.
-Helen Steiner Rice
Ways of Helping
There are a variety of ways that people are finding to help them cope with this tragedy. We have compiled a collection of the best suggestions from several sources. For more suggestions see the page on "Creatively Expressing Grief."
How Children Can Help
Children our our future. Their thoughts and ideas are important as well as how they are coping with this event. What follows are several suggestions for ways in which Children can help: Show your support for the victims, the rescue workers and our country Activities for Children
Birth to 2 years
Activities for home: frequent cuddling, caring, maintain routines, remain calm.
Preschool and Kindergarten
Activities for home or school: play acting, physical contact, puppets, art, stories, large muscle movement (throwing balls, etc.).
School Age (7 to 12 years)
Activities for home or school: play acting, puppets, drawing and painting, sharing their experiences in groups, reading, creative writing or discussion.
Middle School to High School (12 to 18 years)
Activities at school: general classroom activities, literature or reading, peer helpers, health class, art class, speech/drama, social studies/government, history.
Ambuel B. Fast Fact and Concept #50. Disaster: Coping with Tragedy. September, 2001. End-of-Life Physician Education Resource Center http://www.eperc.mcw.edu
McGraw P. Seven Suggestions for this time of Crisis http://www.oprah.com/tows/pastshows/tows_past_20010925_c.html
American Psychiatric Association.  Coping with a National Tragedy http://www.psych.org/public_info/copingwtragedy91301.cfm
Why Do I Feel Like This? http://www.redcross.org/services/disaster/keepsafe/terror.html
When Bad Things Happen http://www.redcross.org/services/disaster/keepsafe/badthings.html
Noll D, De Falco J. Fighting back: Ten things you can do right now: Show your confidence in the nation and our way of life http://www.msnbc.com/news/628351_asp.htm
Everly GS, Mitchell JT. America Under Attack: The "10 Commandments" of Responding to Mass Terrorist Attacks. International Journal of Emergency Mental Health. 2001 3(3) pp. 133-135.
National Institute of Mental Health. Helping Children and Adolescents Cope with Violence and Disasters.
How Kids Can Help. http://libertyunites.org/kids.adp
Other Resources and Information:
United in Courage and Grief - Introduction Page
Why does my heart feel so bad?
What is Different about this Event?
The Importance of Telling the Story
Wake-up Call for the World
Health Concerns for Witnesses
Blessings, Lyrics, Poems & Quotes
Remembering Our Children
Helping Children to Cope with Tragedy
More Resources
Ways of Helping & Coping
Creatively Expressing Grief
Share your thoughts in the new Message Forum Transformations on the Journey
Page posted October 7, 2001.
In Memory of all those lost and forever missing from the events on September 11, 2001, the day our world changed.
The ribbon art was created by Alon Cohen. Available at: http://people.bu.edu/xrpnt/ribbons/
All material, unless otherwise specified, is © 1997-2001 by Journey of Hearts A Healing Place in CyberSpace. Information on this site may be shared with others, but is not for general distribution by for-profit ventures.
To contact the Domain Designer email to griefdoc@kirstimd.com  To return to original home page.