Dear fellow Darien residents and parents:
Right now, our community is grieving. Our hearts are hurting. The pain and sadness over loss together with fear for our children’s future, weigh on us during this difficult period.
We in this community need to serve as touch points for one another, while also taking care of ourselves. Specifically, engage your friends, family members, neighbors and even acquaintances in conversation. Ask how they are and how they are managing these rather difficult times. Let them know that they are not alone.
This town can be very good at putting up brave fronts. Behind these fronts however may lie souls that are in pain. One may seem happy — but not all wounds are visible. We also tend to stigmatize the need for help. Such stigmatization ignores the realities of the times in which we are living.
When you have these conversations, and you sense trouble, remind your family and/or fellow Darienite of our extensive support networks which include school professionals, doctors, therapists and clergy.
Specific resources can also be found by contacting the following entities:
• Immediate support is also available at any time by dialing 2-1-1 and reaching Connecticut’s Mental Health Crisis Intervention Service/Mobile Crisis Intervention.
Useful material to read and get some guidance on how to help support our children who may be suffering include, but certainly are not limited to the following:
• Tips For Supporting a Grieving Teen (The Dougy Center: The National Center for Grieving Children and Families)
• What To Do If You’re Worried About Suicide (Child Mind Institute)
Life does not allow us to select or predict the type or number of tragedies or difficulties we must endure. But life has taught us that humanity and concern for one another can help provide pathways to heal our hearts, ease our pain and sadness together with overcoming fear.
Let’s take care of each other.
Michael Burke, Esq.
Editor’s note: Sarah Neumann and Michael Burke are Democratic members of the Darien Board of Selectmen.