Shootings in New Zealand Felt Back Home in Ottawa

Last week, after the terrorist attack on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand and the 17-minute video showing every gruesome detail, I found myself feeling all sorts of emotions.

Numbness set in as I tried to sort through the breaking news and information. I felt guilty staring at my phone, then turning it upside down to continue with my life and block the atrocity out of my mind.

Later, I went back and looked through more news, tweets, and posts all over social media. Voicing my own concerns and heartbreak.

What I realized, however, is that in times of crisis and trauma, it is completely okay to not be okay. It’s okay to feel numb, angry, and upset. It’s okay to cry and it’s okay to take a step back and disconnect.

Today, I am grieving with my fellow Muslim brothers and sisters, but I am also making sure I try to take care of myself. It is hard to focus and not feel guilty for wanting to step back, but sometimes it is necessary.

People cope with tragedy in many different ways, and social media makes some people feel obligated to voice their feelings and condemn violence. It is okay if you don’t know what to say, it’s okay to stay completely silent and mourn.

For anyone that needs assistance, or just wants to talk, please don’t hesitate to reach out to family or friends. Take the day off. Cry if you need to.

If you are looking for more information or support, please visit the Ottawa Distress Centre website or call the 24-hour hotline at (613) 238-3311.