As someone grieving the loss of two beloved family members and as a now-retired medical social worker, I would like to thank all of the community responders to the terrible events of Oct. 25.

There are so many of you both on the frontlines and in the background. I cannot thank you enough for your day-to-day community service, especially in events like this.

I ask that each of you consider getting support for yourself. Yes, you are strong and “just doing your job.” However, it is not only okay, but vital, that each of you now care for yourself.

In my experience with family, friends and my work I have witnessed the pain that can overcome some people even decades after tragedies like this. There are resources for all of us which I understand will be available even years down the road.

Please work toward healing for yourself and help your colleagues, if you can. Stopping the ripple of grief and pain and expanding the ripple of healing for all of us is what we need. You deserve this, your family and community need you, and stopping further heartbreak from this event is a wonderful way to honor those we have lost.

I pray for peace and healing for each of you and for our community.

With deepest gratitude,

Jeanne Flottemesch, Winthrop

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