Numerous resources are available in Salmon Arm for those dealing with grief. (Lachlan Labere/Salmon Arm Observer)

Counsellors: Grief can come in many forms after Salmon Arm shooting

Community members urged to stay connected with others following trauma

Don’t grieve alone.

This is one of the messages emphasized at a gathering in Salmon Arm to offer residents affected by the shooting on April 14 practical information and support regarding grieving.

In order to create a private and safe space for citizens, media did not cover the event at the rec centre, but prior to and following the gathering, speakers provided and approved information to be shared with the community.

David Parmenter, the son of Gordon who was killed, said he doesn’t want anyone in the community to be grieving alone in the wake of such a public and traumatic event for the community.

“We are just so overwhelmed by the amount of support we have from all over,” he said of his family. “I can’t imagine doing any of this alone. I think we’re built and created to depend on each other. I think that’s important.”

Capreece Bowers, a clinical counsellor, also spoke of the need for people to connect with one another, and to know the feelings they may be having are normal.

“I’ve seen a lot of people individually who have been very concerned about what they’re feeling isn’t normal,” she says, pointing to heightened anxiety, or physical aspects of grief – perhaps exhaustion or trouble sleeping.

She thinks a lot of people in the community who are not even directly connected to families involved or the church are feeling signs of grief or trauma, and should be reassured that their feelings are normal.

Staff Sgt. Scott West emphasized the community has many resources, both professionally and as volunteers.

The SAFE Society hosted the event in collaboration with agencies such as the Canadian Mental Health Association, Interior Health, Shuswap Clinical Counselling Centre, Shuswap Family Resource Centre and RCMP Victim Services. Also providing resources to the community are VictimLinkBC and the Crisis Line.

Read more: Funds being raised for victims of Salmon Arm church shooting

Read more: Former foster child lovingly remembers Salmon Arm shooting victim

Read more: Salmon Arm church enveloped with care after shooting

Read more: City hall flags fly at half mast as city mourns shooting victim

West noted that grief can be delayed.

“You may not be feeling that grief right now but if some time there’s a court case or hearing coming up it might trigger those types of feelings in a heightened sort of way… Often something out there will trigger what is past which might upset a person in a negative way.”

He encouraged residents to have community resource information on hand in case the feelings come up later.

After speaking briefly, David Parmenter had to leave but provided a note to be read.

We are definitely overwhelmed with all the love and support from all over.Our goal from the beginning was to not create an atmosphere of vengeance and hate. We are a family of love and as we know with most families it is a “top-down” structure and we are following our father’s lead there… when we regard his attacker we are viewing him as someone who needs help and has begun his young life tragically while my father ended his triumphantly. I want to emphatically state that hateful words and thoughts are a poison when we suffer. I would encourage everyone to focus on the good and pour it into others. It is truly the best medicine. This is my faith perspective and my life perspective and part of the reason we are coping right now.

“Our family is sad and we are crying and sharing lots and trying hard to remember less violence and more love regarding my father.”


@SalmonArm
newsroom@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Big red treble clef proposed for downtown plaza in Salmon Arm

Idea is to pay tribute to artisans in the community

Church turns welcomes solar power as educational opportunity

Panels on Salmon Arm’s First United Church expected to produce 37 per cent of power needs

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: mix of sun and clouds, chance of showers

According to Environment Canada, showers are expected across the Okanagan tomorrow

Sicamous’ first cannabis store to open June 27

High Mountain Cannabis, located on Finlayson Street, recently received their provincial licence

Seymour Arm road to remain closed until at least early next week

Mudslides close forest service road, repairs can’t be made safely until rain stops

VIDEO: Killer whale steals fisherman’s catch off North Coast

Fishing duel results in eager orca snagging salmon in Prince Rupert

Villains and Vittles serves up mix of local history, mystery and murder

Twenty-sixth year for annual dinner theatre production at RJ Haney Heritage Village

Confusion over land ownership along Okanagan River Channel

There appears to be some confusion about ownership of two of the properties Coyote Cruises uses

UPDATED: Highway 97 near Penticton reopened after serious crash

Accident closes highway in both directions

Kelowna Rocket invited to Hockey Canada National Under-17 Development Camp

The 16-year-old was selected by the Rockets 18th overall at the 2018 WHL Bantam Draft

Fate of accused in Canadian couple’s 1987 killings in jury’s hands

William Talbott’s lawyer says DNA doesn’t prove murder

In photos: Co-op steps up for Shannon Sharp Learning Circle

Armstrong Regional Co-op donates $30,000 through

Okanagan RCMP serve up slices and support for Special Olympics B.C.

Last years inaugural campaign raised more than $12,000

Most Read