Heather Certik: 17 dead: youth, grief and aggression | TheUnion.com

Heather Certik: 17 dead: youth, grief and aggression

I share the bewildered horror of all of us who are wrestling with the decision of what action to take to prevent another tragic shooting in our schools.

I read the story of Nicolas Cruz, the 19-year-old young man who killed 17 people. I was moved by the amount of grief he had experienced in his life culminating with the death of his adoptive mother three months before his rampage.

I have worked with grief for over 30 years with hospice in San Francisco. In that capacity, I also worked with the police department assisting the bereaved of deaths by suicide, murder and fatal accidents and I have taught grief classes to probation officers at juvenile hall in Oakland.

The grief over the death of a loved one is a long struggle for all of us, but none more than our children. Often times we think that because they're going to school and hanging out with their friends that they're doing OK. They are not.

Most of us associate grief with tears, sadness and vulnerability, but it is also about powerlessness and rage and blame.

I would like to offer a free class for all who live or work with children so we can explore the differences between childhood and adult grief. If you are interested, please contact me at HeatherRose488@gmail.com.

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Heather Certik

Nevada County

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