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Tips for how to cope with tragedy

By Ian Cull, KXLY4 Multimedia Journalist, ianc@kxly.com
Published On: Dec 18 2012 08:55:21 PM CST
Hearse carrying casket of Jack Pinto on way to Newtown Village Cemetery

Eric Thayer/Reuters

SPOKANE, Wash. -

The school shooting in Connecticut has left many people around the country saddened, even depressed. According to Dr. Paul Domitor those feelings should be expected and has some tips on how to cope with this tragedy.

"It's a good thing so many people are feeling that, because it means we're still connected in some way," Domitor said.

Domitor is a retired clinical psychologist who founded Spokane Psychology and Neural Psychology at Sacred Heart Medical Center. He suggests people should write down their thoughts and emotions in the form of a letter. Get it down on paper. Maybe even send it to Newtown.

"You can in some way express what you're feeling; your sympathy for people, the horror that they've gone through and you can do that by making some kind of contact," he said.

Many people have also turned to Facebook. While he doesn't suggest going on a political rant, he thinks public grieving can help by letting a friend or family member know how you are feeling instead of keeping everything to yourself.

"In terms of, 'How you doing with this? How are you doing with this?' and make social connections with other people," Domitor said.

For parents with children, he believes kids don't need to hear about it. He says they don't need to know the horrors of the world yet. But if they've already asked, or do ask, be strong.

"Tell the child they're protected, that you'll do everything to keep them safe, the teachers will do everything to keep them safe," he said. "Then you might have a discussion with them about evil in the world, or things that make no sense and hurt other people."

Domitor also believes it's important we don't become destructive, but instead focus on being constructive by looking ahead and finding ways to ensure something like this doesn't happen again.

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