Melissa Heald

It’s been a bleak November for PEI with a lot of tragedy and sorrow.

The Island has been here before and because our province is so small, with Islanders having connections that often extend beyond their own communities, any tragedy that happens here is felt by every Islander.

West Prince experienced that last September following the boating accident in Northport and a few years before that with the tragedy in North Cape.

The big heart of this province is what makes this little island special.

The tragic deaths of a mother and daughter from eastern PEI has the Island once again mourning. In honour of the daughter, who loved tie-dye, Islanders were being asked last Friday to change their social media profile to a special tie-dyed photo with her name on it. It was a small way for Islanders to show their support for a family experiencing the unthinkable. Hopefully, this touching tribute has brought them a small measure of comfort.

Closer to this region, a body discovered on Lennox Island was identified belonging to a young man missing from that community since late August.

There was a great effort by his community to bring Jamie Sark home and while the outcome was one nobody wanted, at least this young man can be laid to rest.

With the whole Island grieving, it’s important to understand the nature of trauma. Trauma can impact someone cognitively, emotionally, physically, behavioural and spiritually. Trauma can either result from the event itself, the experience of that event or the effects that event has on a person or persons. Reactions to trauma can be immediate, delayed or prolonged and individuals can react to traumatic events differently.

Avoiding alcohol or drugs, spending time with loved ones, friends, keeping a routine when it comes to sleep, meals and exercise are some healthy ways to cope with trauma. Letting go of negative or intrusive thoughts could also be helpful, although that might not be easy for everyone.

It’s during these times when community matters, to have those in our lives that we can turn to when things are bleak.

Please, if anyone is struggling right now, reach out for help. No one has to go through this life alone. There’s always someone out there willing to help.

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