Speaker addresses trauma in communityThe bad news seems to be everywhere — mass shootings in Oak Creek, Aurora, Colo., and, the latest, near Texas A&M University.
The bad news seems to be everywhere — mass shootings in Oak Creek, Aurora, Colo., and, the latest, near Texas A&M University.
Closer to home three River Falls sisters were allegedly murdered in their home in July while three New Richmond male students were killed in a car crash on Interstate-94.
Because of the difficulty in understanding these horrific incidents and explaining them to children, the O’Connell family of Hudson is hosting a grief counselor to speak Tuesday evening, Aug. 21, from 6-8 p.m. at St. Bridget Catholic Church in River Falls.
Richard Obershaw, founder and director of the Grief Center in Lakeville, Minn., will be the guest speaker.
Obershaw is the author of “Cry Until You Laugh: A Practical Approach to Grief and Loss.”
“This presentation will examine the issues of trauma and how it can affect us psychologically and physically,” he said. “Individual and community trauma forces us to re-examine our lives, our relationships, our goals and our belief systems.
“Where crisis and resulting trauma create change, grieving is the process of changing who we are and how we respond to the future. We will discuss individual and community grief methods of helping each other and our own family when traumatic loss affects us.”
Said Mike O’Connell of Hudson: “We, the O’Connell family, have been on the other side of tragedy with the murders of our own: Dan O’Connell and James Ellison.
“Understanding what it can be like to be overcome with tragedy, our family is honored to sponsor a night of healing and understanding.
“It is our hope that we can use this event to help our community grow and learn to support each other as we mend.”
Hudson funeral home director Dan O’Connell and his UW-River Falls student intern James Ellison were murdered in February 2002 while inside the funeral home.
The murders were much later attributed to Hudson Catholic priest Ryan Erickson, who later committed suicide as a police dragnet closed in on him.
St. Bridget’s Pastor Jerry Harris will also address the audience Tuesday night on the commonly asked question: “Where is God in all of this?”
Mike O’Connell and Harris say everyone is welcome to drop by for this important presentation.
For more information, email your questions to: email@example.com.