Thoughts on Approaching our Collective Grief - Salt 106.5

Thoughts on Approaching our Collective Grief

As we come to terms with Saturday's events, it's important that we show extra kindness and take the time to talk, Kath says.

By Salt 106.5 Network Tuesday 16 Apr 2024NewsReading Time: 4 minutes

Warning: The following article contains content that some readers may find distressing. If you need support, call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or visit lifeline.org.au.

Our nation is in shock after the violent stabbing at Bondi, which saw six people killed and several hospitalised.

Key Points:

  • Be aware that you may experience a wide range of emotions in coming weeks, including shock, tiredness, fogginess, fear, anger, an inability to think clearly and even anxiety that you can’t quite put your finger on.
  • Parents can have age-appropriate conversations with children and give them permission to still enjoy their holidays.
  • Kath encourages us to show some extra kindness and take the time to have important conversations.
  • Help is available if you need it, call Lifeline on 13 11 14. Hope Careline team are available to pray with you 02 7227 5533.

How do we express our feelings in the wake of this tragedy – and how do we talk to our children about it?

Hope Drive’s Georgia Free chatted with pastor and chaplain Kath Henry about how we can care for ourselves and for one another, in the coming days, weeks and months.

Be aware that you may experience a wide range of emotions in coming weeks.

“It’s really important to acknowledge those feelings and say that there will be ripple effects that go wide for a lot of people, adults and children, feelings and thoughts,” Kath said.

There is a wide range of symptoms and responses that we can expect to experience over coming days, weeks and months, Kath explains. These include shock, tiredness, fogginess, fear, anger, an inability to think clearly and even “anxiety that you can’t quite put your finger on… will all be really normal responses for people in this time.”

Parents: start some age-appropriate conversations

Kath encourages parents to have some very specific conversations with their children, as they too, come to terms with the headlines they will be inevitably exposed to – and to give them permission to still enjoy their holidays.

“It depends on what age and stage the kids are at – it’s important to in these times be with people who are safe and that we trust, and to realise that holidays are still allowed to be fun,” she said.

Parents can have age-appropriate conversations with children and give them permission to still enjoy their holidays.

“But certainly, there might be different thoughts and feelings right now, and it would help to perhaps just ask the kids what they’re thinking and how they’re feeling and have that conversation.

“Because the words ‘mental illness’ have been used here, it’s important to understand that in this case it doesn’t seem to have been an ideological attack, or that this will be continued.

“It was someone who was very, very sick – but that doesn’t mean that anyone with a mental illness diagnosis is going to act in the way that happened here.

“And so, for kids I think that’s important to hold their hand, let them be close to you and to see you as parents.

“They might feel like they just don’t want to go off by themselves this time, even if it’s your own home, they might feel like they want to be closer than they’ve been before for a little way and that’s ok and really normal.

Kindness is key

And for all of us, no matter our age, or the different ways this event may impact us, Kath encourages us to show some extra kindness and take the time to have important conversations.

Kath encourages us to show some extra kindness and take the time to have important conversations.

“It’s important to have that conversation and reassurance and just to be kind to each other,” she said.

“Be aware that we might all be feeling a bit strange right now, even as we go into situations that could be very normal for us previously like going to the shops.”

Ways we can all help

Often, being able to do something small, in an effort to help those who are suffering, helps us move through our emotions. Kath suggests that families may consider giving financially to an organisation which works to help people with mental illness, or to write a letter to the local police station or shopping centre security guards to thank them for everything they do to keep our communities safe.

Additionally, in times like this, it’s a good reminder that giving blood is a vital way to support victims of events such as what we’ve seen this week.

Help is available

Kath encourages holiday-goers to seek help, while they’re away, by contacting a local church or seeking online counseling.

For support visit:


As you may know, April is Hope and Prayer month, a time when the Hope 103.2 team pauses regularly, to pray for the pray requests sent in by listeners. We’d love to pray for you, even though the struggles faced by many this week. Feel free to send through your prayer request by filling out this simple form, so we can stand together with you.


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