There is irrefutable fact that Kenya is bleeding from the bruises of terror. Not the first, second or the third, but the Garissa terror attack that took the lives of more than 140 Garissa University students and security officers is one attack that will gown the history books.The Somalia terrorist group Alshaabab have killed many Kenyans in myriads of terror attacks.
Over the past two years, close to 1,000 Kenyans have lost their lives to terrorist attacks. The terrorist group was formerly known for using hand grenades as they used in attacks in Mombasa, North Eastern and some parts of Nairobi such as Kibera and Machakos Bus Station, where all incidents claimed lives. But for, they have resorted to the use of gunmen. Last year, around 68 lives were lost in Westgate Mall in Nairobi as others in Mpeketoni, Mandera and lately Garissa followed.
Many families have been hard-hit by the attack. But as fate would have it, a mortal human being is like a flower that has to wither some day. Albeit, it becomes terribly painful if young people who are full of potential and ambitions are terminated pre-maturely without any offense. As Kenyans reach out to the victims for consolation, there are various things that should be considered when handling the families and the victims. These are the ways we should condole with the bereaved families
Have a positive message
It is enshrined in many cultures that when people pass on, it marks the end of a journey of life and switches the button of another rite of passage. Having a positive message to those who have been bereaved brings a feeling that ‘everyone’ will die at some point and no one knows his and her time. It brings some feeling of consolation that highly necessary. Being a pessimist and reflective can aggravate the feeling of loss and it makes the void looks bigger. Depression may affect family members. This is the time that the families need to be assured that the whole country is sharing their loss.
Use social media effectively
The social media penetrates beyond many borders and obviously, it has united many societies. This is the time that people condole with the bereaved families notwithstanding the geographical distances. It is the best time to post pictures which are not graphic and cannot have adverse effects on the viewers and possibly the families of victims. It is the time that people need to be sensitive in what they post, be it texts or graphics. The social media can give the bereaved families a strong signal that the whole country and the world are in solidarity with them.
Post at least a word in #147 is not just a number
Showing solidarity is not about watching your television and making comments verbally, it is about contributing to the hast tag 147 is not just a number. It reflects our responsibility to making these families strong mentally and helping the survivors cope well.
Survivors should not be forgotten
Survivors are used in cases to give testimony as have been witnessed in local televisions. But they should be given psychological support. Watching colleagues being slaughtered with the spray bullets and drowning in the blood are some of the scenes they may have been treated to. Such traumatic events are enough to justify their need for counseling.
Kenya has lost many young people in this attack and it is a big blow. may their soul rest in eternal peace #147 is not just a number.