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Grieving continues in Aurora movie theater shooting

Published: Jul. 26, 2012 at 2:57 AM EDT|Updated: Aug. 5, 2012 at 2:57 AM EDT
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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Almost a week after the Aurora massacre, Americans are still trying process what happened and why.

Whether you live in Colorado or Columbia, when you look at the twelve crosses and think of the lives that ended at a movie theatre, it's hard not to be affected.

Psychologist Fred Medway says inevitably after a tragedy, the first question is "Why?"

"How come he pulls the trigger again? How come after you kill a 6-year-old child you pull the trigger again?" Medway said.

Other questions surface as well, like what makes a person choose to take the life of another? And what can stop random violence from happening to me?

Medway says it's normal to have that fear right after an event especially for survivors who may be re-living that night. But the concern is when that fear becomes permanent.

"People get locked into this fear," Medway said. "Many of us live pretty well avoiding most of these things."

Whether you were in the theatre or watching the media coverage, a lot of Americans are struggling to process their grief.

"I think a lot of people feel that they can handle this on their own," Medway said. "If they make up their mind, tough it out, and work through it."

There's a lot we handle on our own such as stressful jobs and stressful relationships, but sometimes we need help.

"The real difficult thing is knowing when you have that tipping point. Moving from when you can handle it yourself to when at least having an objective person talk to you work with you give you support," Medway said.

We know there's a stigma attached to getting help. It may make us look weak, but that's not true. Just opening up about what you're going through can help.

The American Psychological Association has tips for dealing with stress after a shooting. Talking about it is one tip. Along with taking a break from all the TV coverage, doing something productive for yourself is another tip.

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