National News

Day of healing held for Parkland community

Posted May 21, 2018 7:31 p.m. EDT

— Two days after yet another school shooting, dozens of people gathered at the Marriott in Coral Springs for a day of healing Sunday.

Speakers and vendors from around the country gathered at the Marriott to help people handle their grief, and they all did it for free.

It was called a "Day of Hope" with the goal to help people impacted by the Stoneman Douglas shooting address their grief.

"I attended quite a few town hall meetings with some of the parents and faculty, and so forth, and everything was about financials," Bob Resciniti said. "Everything was about gun control and school safety and not one thing was ever mentioned about healing and getting help."

So, the Healing Arts Foundation partnered with compassionate friends to bring grief counselors and speakers from around the country to Coral Springs.

The event featured areas like the Healing Haven Village and Villages of Hope, which included yoga, meditation, knitting and other mental health services.

"Nobody knows what it's like unless you've lost a child," Debbie Nemitz said.

For her, Sunday was not about her own loss. Her daughter died more than 20 years ago, but she's helping other parents start the healing process.

"So, you're trying to teach other people how to find their new normal," she said.

Whether it's through yoga, mediation or knitting, organizers say they want to show people there are many different ways to grieve.

"We're never going to say we understand your pain and suffering, but we are here to help."

The Director of Compassionate Friends says they are now planning a similar day of healing for the Santa Fe, Texas, community.