Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Journey into Tucson Tragedy

I'm in Tucson, AZ helping with the Tucson Tragedy effort. This city mourns. Walking the sidewalks of Tucson and speaking with locals, it's obvious they are all walking wounded. Attended memorials where folks simply don't know how to react, what to say to each other.

Self-conscious while grieving takes 3x energy. Saturday's massacre is a raw, traumatic event they can't see past. They don't have to. Adding the element of press cameras, 24/7 television/newspaper/internet coverage, interviews, etc. doesn't help matters, however necessary it may be. (Donate or Sign/Send your Tucson Tragedy Tribute).

Homicide Survivors Inc., Tucson non-profit group of 3 employees assisting with this tragedy and other Tucson homicides, has over 900 Tucson homicide case files. At least 40% of them remain unsolved. Pima County Sheriff Dupnic should move faster on those cases. HSI works direct with Pima County Victim Services. They pick up the slack where the County cannot tread (court advocacy, matching needs to services, counseling, follow-up, etc.). Please click here to find out more about HSI & donate DIRECT to the survivors & victims of the Tucson Tragedy.

Tucson's crime rate is high - illegal immigration, drugs, violence, etc. For a small town, crime appears disproportionate. UMC, the Medical Center where Giffords & 4 other victims remain to recover, receives countless emergencies involving Border Patrol or illegal immigrants. Speaking with one UMC security guard, he said most of the patients are illegal immigrants or BP agents injured on the job. 

Talked with a few locals who've expressed their grief. They're unable to concentrate at their job, lack energy, focus, wish they could help but don't know how or have the time. Grief affects us all differently. The shock of this incident multiplies the effects, which will wear off in time. Plenty of time for these citizens to give back and take back their town. They're already doing it - up to 7 events scheduled over next 2 days for locals to participate & share their grief (details here). One of the best ways to process grief is by talking about the event or feelings, expressing it. Kudos to Tucsonans for standing strong together & doing that. Express your feelings or condolences to the Tucsonans here.

I'm here for several reasons. Bringing the healing energies of Sedona to this town mainly - helping crime victims & first-responders, the locals. Feel strongly connected to the victims & survivors of this tragedy. I've walked in their shoes. Gabrielle Giffords' husband shares same name as my murdered brother - Mark Kelley. The Houston-Tucson connection is strong here - her husband Mark Kelly is an astronaut who commutes from Houston's NASA to Tucson. Since arriving in Tucson, many other symbols of solidarity exist as well. Yesterday, I saw Houston newsreporter Tom Koch at Gabby's makeshift memorial. See several cars with Texas plates. 

As a former Homicide survivor advocate through Houston's Victim Assistance Centre, I'm experienced in assisting and familiar with these victims' & survivors' long ensuing battle to come - with grief, daily life, justice system, etc. After the FBI & press pull out of town, the commotion has died off, these families will really need help. Grief is a process - taking years or decades. There's no time limit. Your donation of money or positive energy, gift of prayer will go a long way.


  1. In addition to the three that are employeed at Homicide Survivors Inc., there are many volunteers that give their time in many ways. We are grateful to all of them for all their dedication and hard work. Even my 4yr old grandson distributed ribbons for almost 3hrs in the lines at the presidential visit.
    Thank you Robin for giving your time to this community. It certainly needs it,now more than ever.
    Having been a survivor myself, I feel the need to express something that has always been an issue for me with the media. As you read about young Christina's memorial service online, you are innundated with information on the criminal that took her life. Even a photo is in the middle of her article. It is larger than hers. We all know what happened to her. Why not give her and others, the focus they and their families need without having to be faced with this monster's face constantly?? The articles about the victims should be about them and them only. Do you agree? This happens in most cases like this. I could name 10 victims that have died from violence and you most likely would not recognize their names. I could give the names of 10 killers, and most certainly, you would recognize them all. This true for all of us, as this is all we see. I find this incredibly sad. This is a change I would like to see. Focus on the victim, not the criminal.
    Thank you for listening.
    Volunteer and Survivor

  2. Nancy - no truer words spoken than yours. Focusing on the victims, not the perpetrator, would benefit us all in press articles & commentary. Thank you for reminding us. Hope that changes. Thank you for your comment. --Robin