Statement on the Tragedy in Orlando from the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization

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June 13, 2016

In the early morning hours of Sunday, June 12, a senseless act of violence in a nightclub in Orlando has left us horrified, angry, frightened and confused. Hate and terror were targeted at our nation’s LGBT community and the wounds touch us all. Very rarely can such violence be explained in any manner that makes sense to rational people.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected by the shooting in one of America’s cities visited by tourists from around the world. We offer a prayer for the families whose lives are forever changed. We stand in support of the LGBT community and all those who feel marginalized by the evils of racism and discrimination.

Upon reflection of Sunday’s tragic event, we are reminded of the courage and skill of our nation’s first responders and law enforcement. We are touched by the acts of kindness by many who came to the aid of the seriously injured and frightened. We are moved by the lines of fellow citizens gathering to donate blood or joining together to lift their voices in support of love, equality and democracy. We are also reminded of the resilience of the American people. The Twenty-first Century seems to reflect an increasingly complex society but our humanity has not changed.

Today, many of our nation’s hospice and palliative care professionals will care for someone who will end his or her life’s journey. They will be there for them, and comfort their families as they say a final goodbye and grieve their loss. They will care for them with the professionalism and compassion that are hallmarks of hospice and palliative care; the mission to serve others will not be diminished or hampered.

Many providers will make the services of bereavement professionals and grief counselors available to the broader community that will need a place to explore the wide range of emotions and loss they are feeling. It is important that hospices remind their communities that they are an important resource with the skills to help those who are grieving and coping with loss.

Yesterday’s events affect us. We should allow ourselves time to process what we are seeing and hearing via ongoing newscasts. We are reminded to be attentive to our children and monitor what they may be seeing on the news or on the Internet. Let us also support those heroes who respond in such emergencies and lend an ear to our friends and neighbors who may need to share their fears or concerns without judgment – particularly from our loved ones and neighbors who are part of the LGBT community.

It’s also an important time to take an extra moment to tell those near to us that we love them.

National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization
Alexandria, VA

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