I awoke this morning to my Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter feeds awash with people standing in solidarity with Paris. That is wonderful and reminds me of how connected we all are in our shared humanity.
I also awoke to a lot of political and religious commentary about Islam, the West, the Middle East, and white privilege.
What I have learned about grief is this: in the early stages the most helpful thing I can do is to feel the pain, shock, disbelief, anger, fear, helplessness, and sadness. I do that by standing with people in these complex emotions and simply recognizing the emotion, feeling it fully, and not judging it.
That's because the most healing thing I can do initially is to feel fully.
For me, entering into religious and political commentary too early--making conclusions about what we did/didn't do right--blocks that ability to feel, and thereby, blocks the necessary healing that feeling deeply brings.
This approach works better for me and enables me to come to more objective conclusions that are not colored by overwhelming emotion.
I believe it's normal to rush to political and religious conclusions--just not always helpful to the grieving process so early on.