Processing the Event
When I started writing this story, I happened to listen to a podcast on grief and children. There’s a place in Utah that gives kids a place to work out their grief from the loss of a parent or other tragedies. They have a giant play house with different rooms for the kids: an art therapy room, a padded room where kids can go to kick and scream, and a room for group sessions. The goal for kids is to keep coming back until they can finally tell a group of kids the story of what happened to them. All the work at this place in Utah is to help the kids tell their story. When you can finally verbalize it, that’s when the healing can begin, that’s what “processing” might look like. (This American Life, May 15, 2015)
The folks who went through the Bingman's event, like the stock boys or the first responders, they might have had more opportunity to tell family and friends what happened. Their friends would ask them about it and they may have repeated the story over and over. That’s supposed to help bring closure….
This past year, having heard this story over and over -- a year ago, I didn’t have the capacity to talk deeply and easily about all that happened. I’ve now heard people’s stories and read the manuscript so many times in the last year I could almost act it out like “Rocky Horror Picture Show.” I’ve almost become too desensitized to the story.
Jim Willison told me, “No, I think that’s the wrong word. You’re coming to terms, and it sounds like in a healthy way. You’re not being desensitized. You’re coming to grips with it. And you are helping all of us at the same time do the same.”
When Normal Blew Up: The Story of the People Who Died and the People Who Lived On